Shown above are the Plattsburgh City School district offices. The school district wants community support in the budget process this year.
Photo by Stephen Bartlett.
continued “I don’t see any possible way schools can avoid layoffs and programmatic cuts.”
But this year will be different than the last three, he said.
“The difference is we have less and less choice. If we tried to hold on to and preserve programs over the last three years, it gets more difficult to avoid taking things away people feel are near and dear.”
That is why the school board is interested in changing the conversation with the community and getting away from examining a list of possible reductions. That doesn’t provide the board with the pulse of the community, but instead is steered by which group brought in the most people to advocate for a particular program.
Toward the end of January, possibly the beginning of February, the board will host a community forum and ask for representation from students, parents, business, retirees, civic groups and more. Members must be city residents and will be asked to come in and tell school officials what they value in education and what they would like to see Plattsburgh City School represent.
“We want it to be a think tank,” Short said. “The school board wants to be listening to the community first and then do the hard position they were elected to do of making decisions about the school.”
“At the end of the day, the public school is to represent the community it serves, and that input is what the board wants to use to make its decisions.”