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J-E braces for state aid cuts

Universal Pre-K safe, all buildings will remain open says Superintendent

The Jordan-Elbridge Central School District will reconfigure its student body in the coming school year, moving the third grade classes to Elbridge Elementary School and eliminating one administrative position.

The restructuring is one of many proactive efforts the district has already planned for the 2010-11 year in the face of drastic cuts in state aid.

Superintendent of Schools Marilyn J. Dominick spoke to a group of roughly 50 district residents Tuesday night during a public forum at the middle school to bring the public up to speed on how the district hopes to handle the projected $1.4 million reduction in state aid next year.

Dominick also addressed rumors of school buildings closing and the end of the Universal Pre-Kindergarten class.

Both rumors, she said, are false.

"Universal Pre-K is not going anywhere," Dominick emphasized. Money for the program, which is grant-funded, was frozen this year but will not affect next year's program.

There are also no plans to cut programs, though some may be offered less frequently if enrollment is considered low, Dominick said.

While projected enrollment for the district shows a shrinking student body, the student population is not small enough to close a building, Dominick said.

But the reduction will allow for the reconfiguration of the student body, which Dominick explained in detail to the crowd.

Fewer students mean cost savings

"This is the big news for tonight: our district is getting smaller," Dominick said.

Next year's incoming kindergarten class will have only 88 students, the first class to be under 100 students in recent history, and the following five incoming classes would all be fewer than 100 students.

To deal with the shrinking student population and impending state aid cuts, the district will be moving the third grade classes and district offices to the Elbridge Elementary from Ramsdell Elementary. The move would eliminate the Elbridge Elementary principal position, currently filled by interim principal Elizabeth Primo.

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