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Catskill looks at zero-based budget on March 1

Feb 25, 2011 9:08 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Catskill School District is looking at drastic cuts this year, but hoping that public forums on March 1 and 14 will help the community decide what programs it wants to hold on to, from early education to sports."][/caption]Catskill Central School District officials are holding the first of two community budget forums on potentially drastic cuts including the end of kindergarten and pre-K classes on Tuesday, March 1, and have expressed hope that people will attend and present their ideas about what should or should not be included for funding in the next school year. Jim Planck of the Daily Mail writes that, "Community participation is perhaps especially essential this year, as the Board of Education has come at the budget from a 'bottom up' approach, meaning that the existing draft budget has had everything and anything that can be removed from it accordingly taken from it... All optionals have been excluded, so Tuesday’s upcoming forum is the opportunity for the community to suggest to the board which of those excluded items or programs should be put back in and restored with funding." The story goes on to note how the school board has invited Catskill residents, business owners, and taxpayers to the forum, which will be held in the Middle School auditorium starting at 6:00 p.m. for a stated length of no more than two hours. Each speaker will be alotted two minutes, and — per the format designed by Questar BOCES Assistant Superintendent Dr. Andrew DeFeo, who will be the function’s moderator — is to address only one topic in that time, with no other speakers then addressing that topic until all other topics of the night have been raised. Once all topics have been spoken of, speakers who have not yet spoken and wish to readdress a particular subject will be alotted their two minutes, and once everyone who wants to speak has spoken, all will be provided opportunity to return for a two minute segment on a second topic. There will be a registration form, which includes a spot where the speaker’s concern must be briefly stated, and the board has stressed that only budget subjects will be listened to, and that other areas, such as personnel matters or concerns of other nature, will not be received. A second forum will be held on Monday, March 14.

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