S-G budget talks take off

One possibility looming in the background is the proposal to close a smaller elementary school, which is presented to deal a savings of around $300,000. Spokesman for the district Robert Hanlon said the BOE hasn't shown much interest in that proposal since hearing a presentation on an efficiency study in December.

Earlier in the night, Swartz discussed the results of an exit poll survey from the May 18 budget vote, which had 334 voters, with 241 "yes" voters and 93 "no" voters, completing the survey. Respondents were asked to select three items for preservation from a list of non-mandated items in the district. For both sets of voters, the college-level advanced placement coursers where the top selection.

"I do think there is data here that is indicative of what people have been trying to say," said Swartz.

The importance of elective courses to students was also shown earlier in the evening, with current and former students from the science department, asking the district to keep elective science course offerings. Randy Jenkins, academic head of science at the high school, led the presentation.

"I can tell you also that a number of (Jenkins') students were here tonight because they think we are going to try to cut some of those science courses and they are worried because those science courses mean a great deal to them," said Swartz. "They will take the regents courses they have to take but they really want the opportunity to get at those elective courses."

Swartz said what the district is trying to accomplish doesn't change even light of such difficult budget constraints.

"The goals don't change " the strategies to reach them do," said Swartz.""

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