Guest Commentary: School District budget needs cost-effective cuts

Agriculture is an important part of Cazenovia's past, present and future, and we should do all we can to protect and invest in its success.

Now for the part of my letter that is going to get me in trouble. As is all too often the case when difficult choices have to be made, the decision makers search everywhere they can except in their own backyard. Mr. Dubik referred to state mandates frequently and how non-mandated programs were more vulnerable to cuts. He also mentioned that the state mandates that each district needs only one superintendent and one principal; yet we have one superintendent, two assistant superintendents, three principals, a vice-principal and an athletic director.

One assistant superintendent position has been vacant for awhile. Some of us thought that prudent during a time of budget crisis. Yet the position was very recently filled when administrators knew cuts would have to be made. Would it be better to cut an entire program like the agriculture program, than give up one administrator?

I also find it interesting that as enrollment drastically declines we have more administration than ever before. When my sisters' and my graduated from Cazenovia with class sizes of 220 and 180 some students (versus the 80 or 90 students currently enrolled in our kindergarten and first grade classes), we had one superintendent, and no full-time athletic director, not to mention all the clerical positions this amount of administration entails.

I know the suggestion of administrative cutbacks is often considered heresy, but I put it to the taxpayers: Do we keep the hard working teachers making $50,000 a year or hire yet another assistant super at twice or three times that salary to "arrange meetings" and "have conversations" rather than giving our kids the life skills they will need to succeed? In for a penny, in for a pound.

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