Few certainties for BC's fiscal future

Several residents said floating district lines or policies that would shuffle kids from school to school would be unfair to both parents and students.

Tebbano said he wished to dispel rumors that the district is in negotiations to sell Clarksville Elementary to the Voorheesville Central School District.

"I don't ever remember mentioning in the last few meetings or at any meetings that we're going to sell Clarksville to Voorheesville," he said. "The Voorheesville schools and I have not been talking."

He added such a sale would require a district wide vote.

The issue of transportation costs was also raised, but many questioned what kind of savings could be squeezed out of this part of the budget. One often-mentioned option would be to increase the walking distance from schools. There is no walking distance for elementary schools and a half-mile walking distance for the middle and high schools.

"The buses are still going to have to drive the same distance. How many gallons of gas are we really going to save?" countered resident Colleen Cook.

Others said the district should be looking to save every dollar possible.

Some wondered if more radical options could be pursued, such as letting high school students who have their own cars opt out of bus transportation.

Transportation Supervisor Al Karam explained many of the transportation services the district provides are mandated by state law.

"The state law says you cannot give up that which you have the right to," he said. "We have to provide transportation."

Any change to the walking distances would have to be approved by voter referendum.

Tebbano asked the audience whether sports teams that have community group equivalents should be eliminated for a cost savings. This idea also garnered a mixed reaction, with some saying student who live outside the Town of Bethlehem borders might not have such opportunities.

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