continued There are a total of 550 students between the two schools, many of whom have chronic conditions or allergies that require medication to be administered by a health professional.
Amato said she understood that she had made the choice to send her child to parochial school, but she didn’t realize the decision could have such potentially dangerous consequences.
“I pay taxes, and I pay tuition,” she said. “You’re right. I chose to send my daughter to private school. But I did not choose to put my child in danger. You’re making that choice.”
Board President Pat Carbone defended the board’s vote, pointing to the budgetary crisis in which the district has been mired for the last five years.
“It was a very difficult decision, but you see what we’re faced with in this budget,” Carbone said. “We looked at what we’ve had to cut over the last three or four years… and we’re looking at a $1.7 million deficit in this year’s budget. We had to make that decision.”
Carbone said the district looked at the cost of providing nursing to the two parochial schools, as well as the example set by other area districts in a similar position. North Syracuse, he said, was doing more than required by the law and couldn’t afford to do so any longer.
“We realize it’s a challenge,” he said. “We’re offering all the assistance we can to St. Rose and St. Margaret’s during the transition, and we’re also working with the diocese… they can elect to supplement those services [and bring back the full-time nurse].”
No decision was made at the board meeting Monday night, and it was unclear whether the board would reconsider its Feb. 24 vote.