Parents, teachers, school officials and taxpayers come together to talk about the future of the Schoharie Central School. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, the district is facing a budget gap of hundreds of thousands of dollars and officials want to make sure they don't take away anything that gives the community pride.
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- "Right now, we want an impression from the public, what's important to them," said Superintendent Brian Sherman.
Nearly 40 people shared just that at a community forum Tuesday night.
"I grew up playing music in school and sports and stuff and it's an important thing," said Clint Marshall.
And by voicing his opinion, Clint Marshall could help save those programs from being cut as a result of the projected $830,000 gap in next year’s budget.
Marshall said, "It's how you learn to work in the community and work together with other kids and it's overall building skills for life lessons down the road."
Board of Education President Linda Isles said, "It's their district, it's our district, so what they see is important for their kids is very important to us."
Officials say they'll prioritize the programs that the community says are important. And they're urging more residents to get involved with the looming fiscal problems as mandates continue to increase and state aid continues to decrease.
"What other kinds of suggestions are out there to give us an idea to go in a direction we may not be thinking about," said Sherman.
Marshall said, "I think more schools should do this so people in the community can get involved up front and get the information that they want to have instead of having a school board saying this is what we're doing and having no input."
The community will get another opportunity to voice their opinions at a second forum on March 19th. The budget is slated to be voted on in May.