School districts across New York including Cazenovia have been forced to make devastating cuts to educational programs as they adjust to rising costs that are outpacing revenue coming from New York state, thanks to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA).The GEA law was introduced in 2010-11 as a way to close the state’s then $10 billion budget deficit. Under the legislation, a portion of the funding shortfall at the state level is divided among all school districts throughout the state and reflected as a reduction in school district state aid.
The GEA has left a hole in many school district budgets — including in Cazenovia — in recent years. In the Executive Budget Proposal for 2014-15, which state lawmakers are currently considering, the GEA is continued. It shows up as a $1.04 million loss of aid for Cazenovia. That’s on top of the more than $5 million the district already has lost to the GEA since 2009.
Liz Pittman thought the voice of an orbiting astronaut transmitted via a ham radio signal might be … well, a bit staticky.
On the contrary.
“It was very clear, which was really interesting,” she said.
Miss Pittman, a senior at Cazenovia High School, was one of 10 students selected to pose a question to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station as it passed overhead March 3. Although the signal was lost before she had a chance to ask about weightlessness, she did get to hear them speak before the connection broke up.
“It was a lot of fun. I didn’t get the opportunity to actually talk to the astronauts, because there was a problem with communication,” said Miss Pittman, who hopes to study mechanical engineering in college. “All the equipment in Central Square seemed fine. They thought that maybe because the space station was rotating, the antenna might have been pointed away from Earth.”
The Cazenovia Central School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. March 7 in the district office, located inside Cazenovia Middle School, to appoint an assistant coach for the boys’ junior varsity lacrosse team.
A finance committee meeting will immediately follow the special meeting.
Five of Cazenovia Central Schools’ winter varsity teams – ice hockey, boys’ and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ indoor track – have achieved Scholar-Athlete status.
To qualify for the prestigious designation by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), a minimum number of each team’s players must have at least a 90-percent grade point average during the season.
“Thank you all for supporting these student-athletes throughout the school year,” said Cazenovia Athletics Director Mike Byrnes. “Let’s hope for similar results this spring!”
Congratulations to the Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team, which defeated five other schools to claim the top prize and 35 individual medals at the New York State Academic Decathlon Competition Feb. 28-March 1 at State University College at Brockport.
The team now has won nine out of the last 10 state championships.
“I am extremely proud of the students,” said Ben Wightman, the team’s adviser. “Since the beginning of the year they have taken ownership of the team. I am a facilitator, but I am not the one who makes them study or keeps them accountable for how they perform. They do that for one another.”