Canton Central Shortfall Could Cripple District, Superintendent Says

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Canton Central School Superintendent William Gregory says a nearly $3 million budget shortfall in the next school year could cripple academic programs and result in job cuts.

That, he says, puts the district on the verge of fiscal and educational insolvency.

"We're talking about significant, crippling curricular and extracurricular reductions to our programs," he said, "to the point where I don't believe we will be able to continue to provide the basic education that's constitutionally guaranteed to out students."

Canton Central has lost 20 percent of its faculty and staff over the past few years, including more than 40 jobs that were cut in the last two years alone.

School officials say the district is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in state aid because of what they describe as "an inequitable funding formula".
 
The state has classified Canton an "average needs" school since 2008.

"Certainly the cap elimination adjustment  -- we've experienced about a $4.5 million reduction over the last two years -- is something that I hope will change in this year going forward," Gregory said.

Gregory says the district's options are limited. He says the district could borrow to meet its operating expenses, request an advance on state aid or ask for extra state aid.

A final option, he says, would be to have the state Education Department take over the district.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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