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January 11, 2013

School officials react to Cuomo's speech

(Continued)

Under the current situation, “we are looking at going into a holding pattern and sacrificing the quality of education for a generation of students who won’t have anything but the basics (if the situation does not change),” he said. If that is the case, he said they won’t be able to compete with downstate students in universities or job markets.

Morris Central School Superintendent Matthew Sheldon said that the idea of universal pre-kindergarten is very important but if the current economic issues facing schools continue, Morris could find itself in a dilemma. It would be able to maintain its prekindergarten but have to consider cutting kindergarten and electives, such as college-level classes.

He has no idea if the school will receive the 2 percent increase in state aid that has been suggested or how the aid will be distributed between upstate and downstate schools. Last year the state did a better job with that, but he has no idea if that will be repeated.

Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi Superintendent Jason Thomson said a lot of Cuomo’s proposals make sense but “he’s not recognizing the fact that we are struggling to operate at the current level” of state funding. “Where is the money going to come from (for these additional programs)?

“We don’t disagree with his ideas but we need help to maintain what we have,” he said, adding that without meaningful mandate relief, the proposals won’t go anywhere.

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