Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cuts, Layoffs, Highlight North Syracuse's New Budget

The North Syracuse School District finally put the budget issue to rest earlier tonight at its Board of Education meeting. The finalized budget for the 2010-11 school year includes some major cuts.

“Not everybody is happy but it’s the best we can do. It’s been a very difficult experience,” said Superintendent Dr. Jerome Melvin about this year’s budget.

Beginning next year, there will be no general music classes for 1st through 4th graders. Previously, 1st through 4th graders in North Syracuse had two periods a week devoted to music classes. These music periods are going to be replaced by classes that will help students gain computer skills. All the high school’s freshman athletics teams except for the football team and the girl’s volleyball team will be gone next school year as well.

Earlier proposals were supposed to have even more cuts but the district’s director of security and resource officer positions have recently been restored to the budget. While the cuts to the athletics and music departments may be what people are talking about the most, Superintendent Melvin says he doesn’t want people to forget that teachers are getting laid off too. “[Sports and music cuts] gets a lot of attention but we’ve lost teachers. Fifty-two teachers are going to be laid off. That’s important,” he said in a phone interview earlier today.

Dr. Melvin acknowledged that figuring out next year’s budget should be even more challenging than this year’s and could include some drastic cuts. “2011-2012 is going to be crisis. Things aren’t good right now,” the superintendent said.

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