ELCS board won't budge on budget

Jones said the teachers were "shocked and hurt" by the way teachers were notified of the layoffs, especially having been given no prior indication of possible cuts to staff.

"I would like to think that someone would have come back to the teachers and said, 'we have to cut this much money; what other ideas do you have?'" said AIS/Math teacher Deborah Egglefield.

"We just don't feel that we've been included in the budget process," she added.

Many of the parents present at the meeting shared similar concerns, complaining how teacher positions were bearing the brunt of budget cuts.

"We feel that our idea were heard, but not considered," said Karin DeMuro, who is running for a seat on the school board. "We urge you to respect the community by revising and re-allocating the funds."

Several others echoed that sentiment, including ELCS students Zach Denton and Brody Hooper, who read letters to the school board opposing the cuts.

Hooper, a freshman, said the decision to cut the half-time Spanish teacher position interfered with his education.

"It holds me back from receiving an Advanced Regents diploma unless I take a special course that does not fit in with my class schedule," he said.

Still, with so many people urging for revision of the budget, members of the school board refused to take another look.

"As difficult as that decision was to make, I think that was the right decision," said Brett Sicola, the most recent addition to the school board.

Sicola said he would like to see more cuts made, including possibly consolidating clerical or administrative positions, but said he would not cut one job to save another.

"We're not going to reallocate the funds at all," said board president William Haseltine.

A date of May 20 was set for the next board meeting.

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