Crown Point Shari Brannock admits, things are tough for small, rural schools like Crown Point Central.
“As everyone knows, schools have faced huge cuts in funding and major increases in fixed costs in the past few years,” said Brannock, the Crown Point superintendent. “This led to the highest number of teacher layoffs in New York State in its history. Crown Point Central School is no exception when it comes to being forced to make very difficult budget decisions. Our choices are based primarily on providing a high quality education, meeting student needs and being responsible to our taxpayers.”
But while the challenges are great, Brannock is confident Crown Point is a good school and serves its 290 students well.
“Crown Point Central School prides itself on offering a quality education to its students,” she said. “Small rural schools face many challenges in meeting all New York State requirements for graduation as well as the curriculum needs of students. Crown Point has done an outstanding job at balancing requirements and meeting initiatives that make our students career and college ready.
“Crown Point Central School was recently designated as a College For Every Student School of Distinction for the second year in a row,” she added. “Also, in 2005 Crown Point became an America’s Choice National Model School for its overall academic performance as chosen by the National Center on Education and the Economy.”
Crown Point Central has a $6 million budget this academic year, $200,000 less than the previous school year. This year the school has cut 3.5 non-instructional positions — bus monitor, bus driver, account clerk, office and operations and maintenance — and 2.9 instructional jobs — one teaching assistant, half-time math, half-time AIS teacher, half-time science, part-time Spanish and part-time special education — among other cost savings measures.
The cuts have been difficult, Brannock said, but have not hurt students.