NORWICH – Two administrators spoke at a Chenango County Retired Teacher's Association meeting on Wednesday, and discussed the ongoing issues schools are facing in Chenango County.
The two speakers were Gordie Daniels, the interim district superintendent of Greene Central School Districts, and Robert Mackey, the superintendent of Unadilla Valley School District, and they covered issues such as enrollment, budgets, and layoffs.
"I went to Oneonta State, graduated in 1987, and I paid $20,000 for my undergraduate degree – actually the Clark Foundation paid $10,000, and I paid the other ten," said Mackey. "Today, my son is enrolled at Oneonta State, but if he lived on campus and went full-time, he would pay $25,000 for one year – and that's an affordable education."
Mackey said rising costs all over the United States are contributing to the issues schools face today.
"Unadilla Valley has the highest free reduced lunch count in the Chenango County region, including Otsego and Delaware counties as well," said Mackey. "Because of that, we also have one of the highest overall poverty rates in the region."
He said because of the poverty in the area, the Unadilla Valley School District had to make an $800,000 adjustment in its recent budget.
"We did that without laying a single person off, but we can't do it again," said Mackey.
Mackey said it was possible because this year is colloquially called the, "Golden Egg Year," with many politicians going up for reelection and giving out additional funds to high need school districts...