Utica school board votes to cut 95 positions

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - It's no secret the Utica City School District has been underfunded and in trouble with its budget this year.

In response to that, the Utica City School Board has voted unanimously to cut 95 positions -- with 52 of those teacher positions.

State aid, sequestration cuts and the burden of a charter school has put the district $7 million in the red.

Superintendent Bruce Karam says Utica is a severely underfunded high-needs district, and the board's decision should be no surprise. The original budget was put forth in February.

"I've gone to Albany a half dozen times in two, two-and-a-half weeks," Karam said. "I talked to senators, assembly people, education committee reps. We talked to everyone we can possibly talk to to make a case for additional state aid.

"I think we made a very solid case," he said. "They are aware of the situation and now we have to wait to see if anything develops from that and that we get additional money that we have coming for our fair share."

Karam said he hopes the state aid formula will be adjusted and the district will receive more money this year. He said with layoffs come bigger class sizes, which hurts students.

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