No kindergarten, no APs: What a "bare bones" school budget feels like

Paul Smart of WGXC attended last night's public forum about the Catskill Central School District budget, at which parents and teachers considered what school looks like when the only things it offers are required by state mandate:

Speakers addressed what would happen to students wanting to go on to college without Advanced Placement classes, what the community would miss out on with no music or art programs, or sports teams to cheer for, and how they would tell their youngest ones that there would be no more kindergarten or pre-k classes, or that they’d have to walk to school if they lived in the village.

Funding for schools is the kind of issue that affects everyone, and Smart wasn't only there as a reporter -- he was also there as a parent. In its coverage of the forum, the Daily Mail quoted him talking about the importance of the arts to Catskill and the need for kindergarten:

Paul Smart said he and his wife have a 5-year-old son in pre-K, adding, “I don’t know what I could say to my five-year-old if he doesn’t go to Kindergarten next year.”

The quote of the night, according to the Mail, which used it for a headline:

[William] Fiske said he was “annoyed by the slash and burn concept.”

“I don’t think that’s how you should approach a budget,” he said, urging the board to make decisions on the level of “good” that each program provides.

“Don’t just tear it all down,” he said.