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Roundtable aids with budget process

Constituents gather to provide insight to Plattsburgh Schools

Participants and school board members read the thoughts and ideas posted on the wall of those who gathered for Plattsburgh City School’s Stakeholders’ Roundtable Budget Forum.

Participants and school board members read the thoughts and ideas posted on the wall of those who gathered for Plattsburgh City School’s Stakeholders’ Roundtable Budget Forum. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— Participants voiced an array of concerns, including salvaging non-mandated programs for at-risk and gifted students, arts and music programs and ensuring class sizes are manageable.

Some also voiced concerns for taxpayers already stressed to the breaking point. Indeed, agencies such as the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity and Social Services have reported an increase in the number of people requesting services. Many of these individuals and families cannot afford tax increases.

“I wanted to see how the process was going to work,” said Margaret Courson, who has three children in the district. “There are some programs that kept us here, and I am nervous about losing those programs.”

School Board member David Stone said the process was something the district should institutionalize.

“It gives the board a clear sense of expectations and perceptions from various constituents,” he said. “I like that our role is to listen.”

“We are here to listen to the people before the budget is out there,” agreed board member Clayton Morris. “One of the things I notice is people were not talking about cutting programs, but wanting to keep the quality of education of Plattsburgh City School.”

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