Editorial: Caz schools face obstacles ahead

The financial hurdle for Cazenovia Central School District is $1.25 million. The school board has to find that much in cuts and savings into order to meet its budget requirements for 2011-12.

For a district the size of Cazenovia, that is a very high hurdle. Any cuts are bound to be painful. Despite that prospect, hundreds of parents, students and taxpayers turned out on Feb. 14 for a very civil meeting with the school board.

There were no demands from those attending; only requests for individual programs and classes to be spared.

There was also a concerted plea for the job of Thomas Murlin to be spared. Murlin, a popular English teacher, stands the very great possibility of becoming Cazenovia's poster person for the state's Last In First Out law.

LIFO is the product of a Legislature that just can't say "no" to union political contributions; and it's why Murlin may be as great a teacher as the students say, but his short tenure puts his job in jeopardy because of the LIFO law.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a statewide teacher evaluation system to end-run LIFO, but few hold any hope that it will be enacted before the time for cuts arrives. That opinion is shared across the state despite the move last week by the state Senate to defang LIFO. Leaders of the Democrat-led General Assembly have pronounced the measure DOA.

As the LIFO debate rolls on, taxpayers will hear a lot of arguments both for and against LIFO.

But if the Cazenovia district leaders are forced to turn to layoffs to balance the spending plan, chances are Thomas Murlin will be looking for work elsewhere.

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