MAYVILLE - "Unconscionable" and "disheartening" are two of the words chosen by the Chautauqua Lake Central School Board of Education to indicate the board's unhappiness with the state Assembly's refusal to act on a bill authorizing regional high schools.
Jill Scott, Chautauqua Lake board president, crafted what she termed "our indignant response" to the Assembly's ignoring a bill which was passed in the state Senate. Scott's page-long letter was offered as a resolution to the board, which unanimously passed it during a recent board meeting.
"I'd have felt better if they (the Assembly) had brought it to the floor and voted it down," Scott said, noting this would have forced members to go on record for or against the regional high school legislation.
"With declining resources and enrollment in the face of increased regulations and state mandates, our representatives owe it to the students of the state to welcome new and progressive alternatives," Scott wrote in her response.
She charged the assembly with forcing districts like Chautauqua Lake, "to deal with extreme financial pressures as state aid fails to keep pace with unfunded mandates and administrative requirements."
Chautauqua Lake is facing "almost a $1 million dollar shortfall between revenue and expenses for the third year in a row," according to Scott.
Cuts in personnel and programs have been ongoing at Chautauqua Lake and other local districts and a recurring topic at their respective board meetings. Scott's latest statement on behalf of Chautauqua Lake Central School notes that the new state-mandated property tax cap, "looms large in restricting local economic support."