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Liverpool Central School District to face tough decisions

Liverpool Central School District Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns sent a letter Tuesday Feb. 2 to the Long Range Facility Planning Committee regarding the impact that the New York State budget will have on our District's budget planning.

The letter touched on the following issues:

The dire conditions of the state's economy have recently been evidenced in the Gov. Dave Paterson's 2010-11 New York State Budget Proposal. Johns said that most community members and committee members have come to realize that the governor's proposal results in a $7.1 million reduction in State funding to the Liverpool Central School District, a figure he believes is in error.

"While we have known for months that we would have to make harsh decisions relative to the budget, it has been my hope that we could avoid building closure this year," Johns said in the letter. "And leave it for the Long Range Facility Planning Committee to consider."

Johns said that before the committee made its first district building tour, of Chestnut Hill Elementary, that if the budget made it necessary, a school closure would be a consideration. These suggestions were made in Johns' first weekly column that was published Dec. 9 in the Star-Review. The columns were a part of a five-week series that the superintendent wanted to publish and make available to community members to see what would lie ahead.

In a recent interview, Johns told the Star-Review that a school closure could possibly aid the district in better utilizing space and teaching instruction according to building capacity.

"Regrettably, I believe that I must recommend the closure of an elementary building in next year's budget," Johns said in the letter. "While closure of an elementary building is inevitable, I had hoped I could hold off long enough to give this important decision its proper review, before the Long Range Facility Planning Committee."

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