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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 22, 2009

VCSD to present budget plans

By Jo E. Prout

VOORHEESVILLE — The school board here will hold a budget meeting next Monday to hear how administrators suggest the district handle cuts in state aid next year.

Voorheesville currently has a $21.7 million budget, about 28 percent of which is covered by state aid. In December, Governor David Paterson proposed reducing school aid by $698 million.

Depending on Voorheesville School Board actions, the cuts for Voorheesville could range from $660,000 to $870,000, Assistant Superintendent for Business Sarita Winchell said in December.

Some residents heard rumors that honors programs had been cut, but the district said that no changes had yet been made.

“That has not happened,” Winchell said this week. “We have done nothing for next year.”

High School Principal Mark Diefendorf said that similar misunderstandings had been brought up at the district’s special focus meeting on communication held in December.

“Nothing has been cut,” he said this week. “No criterion has been changed” about extracurricular program entrance requirements, either, he said.

“No program has been cut,” he reiterated. Activities, like the mock trial program, have not been suspended this year, he said.

“That is still going on right now,” Diefendorf said.

There is no expectation that mock trial or Advanced Placement classes would be cut next year, he said.

“I can’t see that happening,” he said, noting that a drop in enrollment in the AP classes — a phenomenon not occurring now — would be the main driving force behind cutting the college-level classes.

Winchell said that administrators have looked at how the district delivers its programs. The study will be “reviewed and presented” at the high school on Jan. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. to give the board a “comprehensive overview of where we can bring suggested changes,” she said.

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