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Money talks at Shenendehowa

Rather than cutting huge swathes out of spending, Robinson identified areas to reevaluate for potential savings. A few examples: purchasing fewer supplies, making moves toward going paperless and cutting transportation costs by reducing the number of bus stops by 10 to 15 percent and reassessing after-school routes.

Robinson assured those present that student would not be coming home with lists of supplies to bring in to school.

"We're not in the business of shifting the burden, because we have parents at home in the same situation we're in," he said.

A number of empty positions will probably not be filled in the immediate future, including a east high school librarian, a transportation dispatcher, a school psychologist at Karlgon Elementary and a guidance counselor at the high school. At the same time, curricula and teacher placement will be reviewed to see if efficiency can be gained, and in some instances, certified administrators could even be brought back to the classroom.

Although offering retirement incentives is a possibility, it would only amount to cost savings if a large enough group can be targeted.

Robinson noted that while change may have been forced upon the district, if done correctly, it could be an opportunity rather than a burden.

"All these things collectively put us in a better position to define our destiny as a school district," he said.

The board did not move to enact any changes on Tuesday, but the district will be scrutinizing all options in the coming months. There was talk of beginning deliberations on the 2009-2010 budget earlier than usual.

The state legislature must approve Paterson's plan for any cuts to take effect, and they will most likely wait until he submits next year's budget, which he plans to prepare for a Dec. 16 early release.""

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