Happy New Year! 2011 has arrived with the hope and expectation that there is “light at the end of the Great Recession Tunnel.” Unfortunately, the current fiscal challenges that our state and federal governments find themselves in continue to translate into more fiscal challenges for school districts.
As we begin the process of budget development in our school district, we will keep a keen eye on newly elected Governor Cuomo's state budget agenda and the profound implications it may have on our educational programs. The Governor has called for a cap on school and local government property taxes. He also has stated that a reduction in school aid is almost certain and that a reallocation of aid will be necessary so that low wealth ratio/high need school districts do not bear the full brunt of school aid cuts. Coupled with these fears is also the knowledge that federal stimulus money is expiring and little prospect for new aid to schools is expected.
As our Board of Education and school administration proceed through the 2011-2012 school district budget process, we will continue to strive to make any reductions in educational programs, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and staff, that may be necessary, as far away from impacting student learning as possible. Let us hope that the “light at the end of the Great Recession Tunnel” is closer rather than farther away.
I encourage you to read the other information found in this month's Challenger Online. Specifically, you will find information related to the upcoming January 25th High School Roof Replacement Referendum. Also included in this edition of the Challenger, is a preview of the upcoming High School Musical, “Seussical,” scheduled for February 11-13. The schedule for second semester Continuing Educational/Community Education courses can also be found in this on-line version.
Finally, it has been my honor and privilege to have served this wonderful school community over the past six years. I have been most fortunate to have worked with a faculty, staff and community that values the education and development of its youth. Thank you for your support in moving our school district forward and making it one of the elite districts in Western New York.