MAYVILLE - "Unconscionable" and "disheartening" are just two of the words chosen by the Chautauqua Lake Central School Board of Education to indicate the board's unhappiness with the New York State Assembly's refusal to act on a bill authorizing regional high schools.
Board President Jill Scott crafted what she termed "our indignant response" to the assembly's ignoring a bill which was passed in the State Senate. Scott's page-long salvo was offered as a resolution to the board which unanimously passed it during the Wednesday, June 27 session.
"I'd have felt better if they (the assembly) had brought it to the floor and voted it down," Scott said, noting this would have forced members to go on record for or against the regional high school legislation.
"With declining resources and enrollment in the face of increased regulations and state mandates, our representatives owe it to the students of the state to welcome new and progressive alternatives," Scott wrote in her response.
She charged the assembly with forcing districts like CLCS, "to deal with extreme financial pressures as state aid fails to keep pace with unfunded mandates and administrative requirements." CLCS is facing, "almost a one million dollar shortfall between revenue and expenses for the third year in a row," according to Scott.
Cuts in personnel and programs have been ongoing at Chautauqua Lake and other local districts and a recurring topic at their respective Boards of Education meetings. Scott's latest statement on behalf of CLCS notes that the new state-mandated property tax cap, "looms large in restricting local economic support."
In other business the board approved new rates for school-served breakfast and lunch. The morning meal will cost $1.35 for students and $2.50 for adults. Lunch will be $1.85 for kindergarten through sixth grade, $2 for grades seven through 12 and $4 for adults. About 35 percent of students receive either reduced cost or free meals, Superintendent Benjamin Spitzer told the board.
In the unintended consequence department, the board learned that various government requirements to serve more "healthy" vittles such as green vegetables even to the point of insisting students put such foods on their tray only mean the dumpster fills up more quickly.
Spitzer told the board he would like pre-registration starting this fall to measure interest in various swimming pool programs. Pool programs, Spitzer said, "are not big dollar items, but from a percentage standpoint they're losers."