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Ossining Schools Want Community Help On Program Cuts

Ossining School District officials are looking for community feedback in anticipation of making budget cuts for next year.
Ossining School District officials are looking for community feedback in anticipation of making budget cuts for next year. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

OSSINING, N.Y. – Programs in the Ossining School District could be cut next year and school officials said they want the community’s input before making those decisions.

The Ossining School Board is set to have budget “mini-lessons” during a work session at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Roosevelt School cafeteria. Board members and district administration agree that the proposed district budget for the 2013-14 school year could require cuts to one or more programs. But where those cuts occur will be decisions officials will not take lightly, said Deputy Superintendent Raymond Sanchez.

“We want to give a quick review of what is being considered and hear feedback,” he said. “No decisions will be made but we want to hear what the community and our board finds to be the most important programs in the district.”

The topics that will be addressed Wednesday night include substitute teachers, elementary enrichment, student transportation mileage eligibility, before school program transportation, and coaches/professional development. Sanchez said other items, like pre-kindergarten, would be discussed at future meetings.

“Currently we have a deficit that we need to fill to stay under the tax cap and what we want to do is build a partnership with the community when we consider various options,” Sanchez said. “Our intent is to preserve the programs we have but it’s likely that those will need to change in some ways in order to maintain them. Or in some cases we’re going to need to cut or reduce programs and we want to know what the community finds to be more important.”

Each item up for discussion Wednesday night will include a brief summary followed by board and community comments. Opportunities will be provided for members of the community to raise questions following the work session presentations and prior to Board of Education action on agenda items, school officials said in a press release.

The meeting can also be viewed live via “Ustream” at www.ustream.tv and searching “OUFSD.”

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