Students and parents taking action against drastic cuts in West Irondequoit School District

Created: 07/09/2014 7:35 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

There are drastic cuts for both students and parents in the West Irondequoit School District. Everything from high school drama programs, middle school modified sports and all field trips are being impacted.

Parents, teachers and students in the district say they feel betrayed by these cuts in school programs. A group of the students are letting lawmakers know they’re angry with some strong words.

Sophomore Joseph Buttino is expressing his disappointment toward New York’s elected officials.

Buttino said, “I decided to write this letter because I cannot stand to see my school district, the one I grew up with and love, decline.”

There will be fewer opportunities for kids this coming school year. There will be no more field trips, no more high school comedy and drama programs and no more modified B sports for middle school students.

Buttino is one of several students in the West Irondequoit School District who are sending letters to lawmakers in Albany about these cuts.

Superintendent Jeff Crane, West Irondequoit School District, said, “I think that's something we should be proud about.  That is what we want from our kids.  We want them to be participating citizens in this democracy where, typically, majority rules.”

In this case, majority didn’t rule. The school’s budgets were passed twice, but because the district went above the state’s tax cap, it needed a super majority, which is 60 percent. The district just missed it. That means the district had to cut almost one and a half million out of its budget.

Parents say the community is stronger than ever and will do what it can to fight this, but they can't shake feeling betrayed.

Erin Quintero, parent and teacher, said, “Irresponsible leadership at the state level, passing the buck down the backs of not just me, as a taxpayer,  but to the backs of my children who will see their opportunities vanish.”

Buttino said, “It's just really upsetting to see how the whole vote can destroy a whole school district.”

Parents say they are waiting to hear what they can do legally, in terms of fundraising. They should know by next week, at which point, they'll have a meeting to come up with ways to raise money.

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