Meeting of February 24, 2011

PHOTO BY BILL DOWD

Speaker Robert Horan (center) discusses public schools’ financial future.

Attendance (17): Terry Brewer, Jim Leyhane, Peter Brown, Pat Bailey, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Phil Egan, Len Leonidas, Rommel Tolentino, Mark Hoyt, Debbie Rodriguez, Debra Brown, Russ Edberg, Dick Drumm, Peter Brown, Rob Mangold, Jim Mandrysa.

Guests (1): Bob Horan.

Program: Robert Horan, superintendent, Schodack Central Schools.

Bob, who has filled out the paperwork to become a member of our club, spoke about recent activities in the schools — including an exchange learning visit from a class of Chinese high schoolers and teachers hosted by the high school’s Mandarin Chinese program run by club member Mark Hoyt.

Bob then spoke about the fiscal situation of schools in New York State, and in the Schodack district in particular. He said many things about schools must change, such as offering summer programs for advanced students or evening classes for those with busy schedules. Because budgets this year, and for the next several years at least, are going to be tight, districts will be forced to do things differently. Schodack and Ichabod Crane distriocts are involved in a merger feasibility study funded by the state.

Schodack may face a reduction in administrative and support staff, but Bob said he hopes not in teachers or programs for students. In past years such cuts have been avoided, but the next budget year may face reductions in programs such as clubs and as well as teachers and aides. The proposed statewide budget tax caps will affect everyone. Bob provided copies of a recent public presentation on Schodack’s budget.

Announcements:

• A reminder that the family event, “Bowling Over Polio,” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, at Spare Time in East Greenbush. Volunteer workers may contact Murray Forth.
• The International Dinner will need to be rescheduled because of a conflict with another event.
• A reminder that the nbext Member Home Dinner fundraiser is being hosted by Pat Bailey on Friday, March 18. It is a “Backwards Irish Dinner,” beginning with dessert. Cost is $25 per person with a limit of six attendees. Contact Jim Leyhane or Pat for a reservation.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 3.

[Go here for the Events Calendar.]

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