West Irondequoit School District budget falls short of super majority

Updated: 06/18/2014 7:52 PM
Created: 06/18/2014 6:31 AM WHEC.com

Another vote ends in the same result in West Irondequoit.
The budget proposal for West Irondequoit School District has been defeated again.

The district needed a supermajority of 60% yes votes to pass, but the vote fell short.

What does this mean for the kids that go to school there? Officials say as many as 18 teachers in the district will lose their jobs.

One eighth grade student, Chad Gartland, says he loves his teachers, and he would hate to see them go.

“I’m really sad because they encourage us to do good, and they let us be ourselves in classes. They help us get through school,” said Gartland.

Gartland says he and his friends love their school and their teachers, but when they go back in the fall, some of them may not be there. The West Irondequoit School District is facing $1.5 million in state cuts. As many as 18 positions, including teachers, staff and administrators, could be on the chopping block.

“We have had tough discussions with the folks that we think will be involved because we have to allow them to get back into the job market if we’re going to lay them off,” said Superintendent Jeff Crane.

Crane says it won’t be easy, but he understands why residents rejected the nearly $68 million proposed budget. It called for doubling the state’s two percent tax cap in order to help compensate for a significant reduction in state aid.

“Last night we found out that the taxpayers just said we can no longer cover the reduction in state aid with additional taxpayer burden, and I get that,” said Crane.

Modified sports could also be cut or suspended. Grayson Smith was hoping to play basketball next year.

“I was really looking forward to it. I didn’t make the team this year, so I worked really hard, and I’m a lot better. I was really excited to try out and make it this year,” said Smith.

The superintendent wrote a letter to all school staff on Wednesday. He says he’s sorry how things turned out, and says his job is to now implement the school’s new reality.

No changes were made the budget plan between the first vote in May and now.

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