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It is budget season at Lake Shore

LAKE SHORE — A lengthy discussion about budget was held during the March 18 meeting of the Lake Shore School District Board of Education.

According to financial analysis presented by the board, a significant gap exists between increased expenditures and increased revenues; the preliminary budget is currently at $1.8 million. This value will change, depending on reductions by the school, in addition to factoring in the state budget.

Board Member Carmen Garozzo asked, “How much longer do we have to keep kicking the can down the road?”

After stating his concern that the district will run out of money, he said, “Our taxpayers are only going to pay so much.”

Recommending the implementation of extracurricular programs, Garozzo said that the highest priority is to “get the message out, because it’s not there.”

“This may be the year that we have to ask, rely or have outside influences ... help us,” said Superintendent James Przepasniak, agreeing with Garozzo’s statements.

After cautioning the board that it is too late to make a difference this year, the superintendent said that this matter is something that should be addressed now, for next year. “We can’t rely on Albany, is all I’m saying,” Garozzo said. Przepasniak echoed the frustrations about Albany’s influence in the district.

“Western New York has been ignored by Albany for so long, in relation to increased taxes,” Przepasniak said. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

In other board matters:
– Rachel Youngers and Danielle Jone spoke to the board about the Academy of Business and Finance, informing those present what they learned at the academy and how it has and will continue to help them. “Thank you,” the girls said in unison, before concluding their presentation.

– Jill Clark, principal at A.J. Schmidt Elementary School, and Kristina Lewis, who teaches fifth grade at Highland Elementary School, spoke to the board about Common Core.

“Our journey really does go back to 2012,” Clark said, in regard to the increased rigor of the Common Core standards.

The developmental process began for an English Language Arts target team in October. According to Lewis, “This has been a change to how our ELA classes worked in the past.”

The teachers said that the creation of this team has challenged students to become literary readers and increase their analytical skills, and has encouraged the students to read in a more cognitive manner.

“The children are thinking about [answers]; they’re talking about it,” Clark said.

– Student representative Luke Catalano made the board aware of the upcoming Mr. Lake Shore event, which will be held Friday, April 4. He said that the community is welcome to attend.

Catalano noted that a dance will be held the following evening, April 5. This dance has returned after four years, due to student requests.

Przepasniak gave Catalano the news that the location for the prom has been changed from Rich’s Renaissance, due to construction.

That location is “anticipated to be done on time,” according to Przepasniak, but the new spot, Connecticut Street Armory in Buffalo, has picked up any additional costs and fees for the dance.

The next board of education meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15 in the high school media center.

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