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Newfane teachers question district's planned cuts

Teachers in the Newfane School District want the public to come out to Tuesday night's School Board meeting.

The reason, according to union President Henri Kursten, is the district is allegedly refusing to consider cost-saving alternatives provided by the union.

There have been no preliminary budget figures released by the district, though tomorrow's agenda includes a scheduled presentation from Superintendent Gary J. Pogorzelski on the budget.

Here's the entire press release issued by Newfane Teachers Association on Monday:

On Tuesday 3/16/10, the Newfane Central School District will be discussing the 2010 – 2011 school budget. We are all aware of the situation in Albany and how it is affecting school districts throughout the state. The Newfane School District’s projected decrease in state aid is 2.1 million dollars. The District is currently determining how to close the gap.

There are several ways to make up this shortfall. Our Board of Education has chosen to eliminate teachers and staff and cut programs. Although almost all clubs and modified sports are scheduled for elimination, varsity sports remain untouched.

The Newfane Teachers Association has offered cost saving ideas and is preparing to offer alternatives that will assist the District in the financial crisis, and so far the District has refused to consider the cost savings.

As a school District, are we in the business to educate our children for the 21st century or to produce recreational athletes?

It should be open to the members of the Newfane community to make this choice. Please attend the Board of Education meeting scheduled for 7:30 pm, Tuesday, 3/16 at the Newfane Early Childhood Center on Godfrey Rd. in Newfane to have your voice heard for education.

Pogerzelski is out of the office this afternoon, a representative in his office said. No board members could immediately be reached for comment.

The public portion of the board meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Its being held in the gymnasium of the Early Childhood Center, 6048 Godfrey Road.

--Aaron Besecker

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