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Fairport-E.Rochester Post
  • Fairport students gather for school budget discussion

  • The room was crowded as Fairport High School students gathered to talk about ways to muster support to eliminate budget cuts in the district's budget for next year.



    It was announced last week that due to a $4.5 million gap and pressures from Albany, Fairport plans to cut more than 35 teaching positions and 20 non-teaching staff, as well as a number of electives and extracurricular programs.

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  • The room was crowded as Fairport High School students gathered to muster support for eliminating cuts in the district's budget for next year.
    It was announced last week that due to a $4.5 million gap and pressures from Albany, Fairport plans to cut more than 35 teaching positions and 20 non-teaching staff, as well as a number of electives and extracurricular programs.
    To show their support for finding solutions to these cuts, a group of students have organized a series of impromptu meetings, and the second one was held at FHS on Friday afternoon.
    "We're here to come together as a student body to try to limit some unnecessary cuts," said senior Kyle King, who, along with three other students, started the meeting with a presentation of tax data.
    According to the data provided by the board of education, the tax levy, or amount of taxes that are collected by the district, will be limited in all NY districts as a result of the tax levy limit, also known as the 2 percent property tax "cap" that recently went into effect.
    The levy limit is a number that is achieved through a calculation that produces a number that is often more than 2 percent. State law allows school districts to raise its levy limit if more than 60 percent of voters, or a "super majority," approve it.
    To date, the Fairport administration has said it will keep the levy at or below 2 percent. By getting more support of to raise the levy limit, students said they hope to help save jobs and programs that would otherwise be cut.
    Fairport's total budget will be approximately $106 million, and $60 million of this will come from local taxes. At the meeting, students said they want this number to increase if it means saving staff and programs.
    "We meed as many people to vote for the tax levy increase as possible," said King.
    Several teachers, including high school English teacher Dylan Gillett, listened to the presentation and offered words of encouragement.
    "I really believe that your passion and purpose in this district will speak louder than our voices as teachers," said Gillett.
    Students will be wearing yellow in coming weeks to protest the cuts and plan to hold weekly meetings for students of all ages, teachers, and parents to join the conversation. Next week, they will hold an outdoor sit-in at the school campus before the school board meeting on Feb. 15.
    "We want to make make it presentable for everyone," said senior Nick Rabb, who added that their goal is to help taxpayers make an informed decision."Fishing for information that is on our shoulders for the future is only fair for students to know."
     
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