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What's next for VVS after budget vote down?

By JOLEEN FERRIS

VERNON, N.Y. (WKTV) - In a budget year that was exceptionally difficult for all, one local school district has the added distinction of being the only one in Oneida County whose budget was voted down by on Tuesday.

Voters in the Vernon/Verona/Sherrill School District defeated the proposed school budget 781-466.

Taxpayers having breakfast at the Nothin' Fancy Cafe in town didn't want to be interviewed on camera, but said they were pleased the budget was defeated because they didn't see the cuts in high-level administrative salaries that they were looking for, but rather, cuts to teachers. Others, outside the post office, echoed those opinions.

His secretary said that Superintendent Norman Reed was busy working through some issues in meetings and was unavailable for an interview. The district did, however, release the following statement:

"The 2011-2012 school budget presents extraordinary challenges to the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill School Community. V.V.S. is highly dependent on state aid to fund its programs. The significant loss of state aid over the last three years has thrust the district into a structural deficit. In preparing the proposed budget for 2011-2012, the district was faced with both daunting tax hikes as well as cuts to our programs and staffing. As a result of the budget being defeated, the Board of Education will meet to discuss three options that are permitted by law after a school budget is voted down. These options include putting the same budget back up for another vote, proposing an amended budget to the voters, or moving directly to a contingent budget. The specific option the Board of Education chooses will determine the district's future course of action."

NEWSChannel 2 attempted to ask School Board President Linda Chambers if there was a time frame for the board to discuss these options; she hung up the phone mid-question.

Board Member Thomas Moats returned our call, saying that the next regularly-scheduled meeting wasn't until next month, and that they'd have to meet sooner, possibly in the next few days. Moats isn't aware of the board leaning more toward an one option at this point.

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