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A growing group of parents is organizing against a Stillwater Area Public Schools consolidation plan to shutter three small community schools to save money.
Under a plan proposed last month by Superintendent Denise Pontrelli, the district would close its smaller Withrow, Marine and Oak Park elementary schools and move their students to Stonebridge, Rutherford and Lily Lake.
“We just don’t feel, until we are using money more effectively, that we want to do that,” Pontrelli said.
Within days, the group, “Stop BOLD Cold,” had a website and an online petition with nearly 1,500 signatures. 1 mission is to make sure the board does not pass the proposal to close all three schools,” said Lance Cunningham, a Withrow parent who is helping to lead the group.
“Our job as a community is to say: ‘This doesn’t work for us. The board needs to come up with an alternative.’ ” Cunningham said district voters didn’t approve an annual $5.2 million operating levy increase in 2013 and a $97.5 million capital levy in May to see schools close.
He said Withrow and Marine serve as the centers of small rural communities and are among the district’s best performing schools.
Opponents of the consolidation plan question whether it would save the $1.3 million projected by school officials.
“If this happens, people will lose faith in the district and move their kids to other schools,” Cunningham said.
But Pontrelli said the school board has spent the past decade trimming programs and tapping cash reserves just to maintain the status quo.
He said after he gets feedback from the district Board of Education public information meetings will be held throughout the district.“There’s going to be a point when we are going to have to face this idea,” Mr. “The district can’t keep going this way.” Thousands of readers like you have made Northern New York Newspapers the number one ranked website* for local news and sports coverage in the north country.
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The so-called Building Opportunities to Learn and Discover plan, or BOLD, emerged after Pontrelli and her administrative team spent the fall studying how the district could make the best use of its school facilities.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating