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Budget cuts: How will your school be affected?

After enactment of the DRP, overall 2009-10 school year School Aid would total $21.2 billion, a decrease of $271 million or 1.3 percent from 2008-09.

The Syracuse City School District Superintendent Dan Lowengard isn't sure how the district will make such deep cuts.

{Q}"The impact of a mid-year funding cut is devastating because nearly 80 cents of every dollar we spend is to pay for salaries and benefits," said Mike Henesey spokesperson for the SCSD.{Q}"To cut spending on non-staff items will not have a significant enough impact to absorb a funding gap of $4.9 million."

He said, although the district will scrutinize every expenditure, the reality is that $4.9 million dollars is going to come at the cost of about 150 full-time equivalent positions. "This would most certainly impact the students in our classrooms," he added.

Lowengard's first step is to speak with Governor Paterson's staff and local legislators to lobby for not placing the state's fiscal troubles on the backs of the city's students. Last week Lowengard and several Board of Education commissioners met with the Governor's staff. They drafted correspondence to send to local legislators and are scheduling follow up meetings to ensure that the elected officials understand the devastation that a mid-year spending cut would have on the quality of education and also the local economy.

Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Newspapers Star Review, reach her at shall@cnylink.com.

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