Our opinion: District entering time of contraction

Sheffield basketball players who said they’d prefer to play for Warren Area High School rather than Sheffield made the decision not to offer varsity girls basketball at Sheffield an easy decision for Warren County School District board members.

Without full buy-in, there is no way Sheffield would have had enough players to participate.

But the bigger question, in light of the district’s shrinking fund balance, is this — what further contractions are possible to balance the budget.

We’re already seeing signs district officials are eyeing further cuts. Band uniforms are being discussed with an eye toward having one district marching band, as an example. It’s something both parents and students had better get used to.

Warren County isn’t likely to grow its way out of the financial issues that are facing the Warren County School District. Nor can Warren County count on the lifeline New York schools can depend on each year when the New York legislature spends millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars more on education so that local districts don’t have to make cuts.

As much as parents and newer school board members want to undo some of the consolidations that have happened in recent years it’s becoming crystal clear that we are entering a time of more consolidation, not expansion. Our talks will be more productive, and our decisions more clear, if we are all rowing in the same direction.


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