School budget storm gathers at UV

NEW BERLIN – Unadilla Valley Superintendent Robert Mackey has decided to take a transparent approach to figuring out the school’s fiscal future and in a public budget workshop, he revealed the worst-case scenario, announcing the potential cut of 24 positions.

“I believe in having an open and honest process,” said Mackey. “One of the most important parts of this year’s budget process is getting the word out to everyone. I met with the teacher’s union in February and gave them much more information than they usually receive. I want everyone to understand the problems we’re facing. This just isn’t the board’s issue, it’s something that’s going to affect everyone in the school and in our communities.”

Mackey said he had already personally notified the 24 employees of the situation. Other potential cuts being considered could eliminate school sports, summer school and other programs.

School Board of Education member William J. Lyons would later tell a crowd of about 40 parents and teachers, “at this point we don’t even know if we’re going to have any sports.”

Mackey held a presentation in the school’s auditorium Tuesday night an hour before the board met for its regular monthly meeting.

The Superintendent said a decreasing trend of enrollment and the state’s current fiscal crisis were the two main factors in the proposed cuts.

“Even in a best-case scenario, we’d only have reductions in the work force due to decreasing enrollment. As enrollment continues to decline, we have to expect a reduction in the work force over time,” he told the crowd. Over the last two years, the school has eliminated 11 positions due to dropping enrollment; 10 of those were through regular attrition.

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