KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board and new district Superintendent George Zini hosted the first budget of several budget forums Tuesday, January 15. Mr. Zini said that he was cancelling the next budget forum, set for January 29, so that he could have more time to get up to speed with the district’s finances.
Mr. Zini also stressed that because the district does not yet know how much state aid it will receive budgeting is difficult. “It’s like nailing Jell-O to a tree,” he said.
The theme of this budget forum was athletics, and Mr. Zini started off the meeting showing a slide with the sports budget, including the football program and the modified sports program, both of which are funded through donations. “I’m not in favor of fundraising,” he said. He added that he believed that any program that is a benefit to the district should be funded through the school budget.
Several parents spoke in support of the district funding the football and modified sports programs. Modified sports are generally for middle school athletes.
Board President Anthony Welcome told the audience at the high school auditorium that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the budget this year. He also said, “This board is dedicated to supporting those programs as best we can.”
Board Vice President Regina Rose pointed out that though it is early for budget numbers, the future for state aid does not look promising. “My priority is to get kids reading,” she said. She also said that she does not support adding a football program to the budget if that money could be used for academics.
The next board forum will be February 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the High School Auditorium.