He said brought back more than 600 letters from last year’s forum to show Cuomo the depth of local concerns.
“That’s very impressive,” he said. “It helps bring back the message to Albany.”
SOS Chairman Florian Reyda said the forum will provide an opportunity for community members to become more informed, express their concerns and hear from legislators. He said he was hoped it would lead to more equitable distribution of aid to underfunded districts that don’t have the tax base to offset state cuts.
Cuomo’s proposal sounded nice but “we are not getting enough to fund the school,” he said. Unatego made a lot of cuts last year, including realigning the elementary schools. If nothing changes, he said, one of the district’s two elementary school could be closed to meet this year’s budget shortfall, something the administration has said is a possibility.
Unatego business manager Nicholas Rosas said that with the district facing a gap elimination cut of about $900,000, the financial situation is similar to last year. The details of the budget shortfall are still being worked out, he said. Last year’s forum had an effect on the process, Rosas said.
“It was the first time we ever attempted to do anything on that scale,” he said, adding that SOS got the attention of legislators.
“It will take a while to build, but it’s become a force to be reckoned with,” he said.
Anyone with questions about the forum can call Unatego Superintendent Charles A. Molloy at (607) 988-5038.