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Madrid-Waddington seeks more community input

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MADRID – Madrid-Waddington Central School District officials plan to sit down to breakfast with residents Saturday to gather input on solutions to the district’s budgetary issues.

The district fears if it is unable to replenish the growing amount of fund balance applied to the budget each year, the district will be financially insolvent within four years.

This is the second breakfast the district has held to get community feedback about the problems facing the district. Held in January, the first breakfast included community leaders.

“The district received very positive responses and evaluations after the first forum,” Superintendent Lynn M. Roy said. “We decided to have a second breakfast so that even more community members could share their thoughts on our goals and plans.”

For the second breakfast, officials invited those on its the 2012-2013 budget voter list, since it represented people who had demonstrated some level of participation or interest in the district’s proposals.

Officials eliminated those who had direct ties to administration or board members, as well as limited invitations to only one per family, Mrs. Roy said.

The event is by invitation only. Out of 89 invited guests, 43 have said they are attending, according to school officials.

After a presentation by Mrs. Roy, participants will break into small groups to discuss issues facing the district such as shared or consolidated services.

Participants will be asked whether they would support a school budget that reduced existing programs and staffing levels, and that increased the average class size as a result, in order to stay within the state-mandated tax cap. They will also be asked whether they would support a school budget that exceeded the tax cap if that meant the district would be able to maintain all of its existing programs and current average class size.

The event will also include a discussion of the educational requirements students must meet in order to graduate as “career and college ready.”

“We believe it is valuable to receive this guidance and information prior to, rather than after, the budget adoption on April 22,” Mrs. Roy said.

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