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Oneida Castle Elementary School to close next year

By PAT BAILEY

ONEIDA CASTLE, N.Y. (WKTV) - An Oneida Elementary School will not be open next year because of state budget cuts.

Oneida Superintendent Ronald Spadafora says that this semester will be the last time classes are held at Oneida Castle Elementary School, because he says school aid cuts deeper than what Governor Cuomo originally proposed.

Superintendent Spadafora says that the Governor's initial budget proposal had the district receiving a 5 percent cut.

However, he says that after doing the math and hearing more information, he anticipates the district will receive a 10 percent cut.

Spadafora says that cut equals about $2 million total. He says that coupled with other rising costs, that means about a $3 million budget gap.

He says that is simply too much for the district to make up.

The superintendent says the expected closing means that ten teachers and another 8 to 10 support staff will lose their job.

In all, about 100 kids will be affected.

Starting next year, they will put the sixth graders in the middle school, and the other elementary school will be filled with students in grades kindergarten through five students.

"This has shifted the burden to the local districts and the taxpayers," Spadafora said. "We wouldn't close the building or layoff staff if the cuts weren't so deep."

The Superintendent says his district will not be the only one affected once the budget is passed. He says education is really taking a big hit this year.

Superintendent Spadafora says he expects the school board will approve the closing of the school at next month's meeting.

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