'State of the Schools' at Freeport BOE meeting
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The frugality comes at a cost, however; 128 positions reduced over five years, including almost 100 teachers! Clubs, sports, enrichment programs have been lost, and class sizes have increased – all at a time when the schools are expected to do so much more.
Although state aid increased slightly last year, it is still below 2009-10 levels. According to Mr. Robinson, the chief culprit is the “Gap Elimination Adjustment, a contribution to balancing the state budget that cost Freeport $6.8 million in state aid last year and $31 million over the last four years. This, combined with the tax cap, creates a gap between revenue and expenses at the start of the process.
Dr. Kuncham summed up the dire situation with one word, as he has previously: “Advocate.” Cap reform, mandate relief, unfreezing of Foundation Aid and and abolition of the Gap Elimination Adjustment would address some of the inequities in funding for schools.
But 2014 is an election year, and Dr. Kuncham was not optimistic. He feels that no more can be cut, and said that the district must consider piercing the cap in 2014-15.
Frank Grossman renewed his recommendation of the BOCES Doshi Stem program, which provides real-life science instruction. When he suggested that students would be better served there than by the Freeport science curriculum, board president Debra Mulé, whose daughter got to MIT on the Freeport science curriculum, vehemently disagreed. Alan Jay repeated his request that school board meetings be broadcast on the village’s channel 18.
The next Freeport school board meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 16, at