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Rochester School Board rejects proposed cuts

The Rochester School Board appeared to agree on one thing during a meeting focused on closing a $5 million budget deficit.

No board member spoke in favor of proposed cuts unveiled by district administration late last week at the request of the board.

Those proposed reductions included everything from eliminating all media specialists at the elementary school level to removing police liaison officers from the schools to closing two of the district's swimming pools to eliminating nearly a dozen girls and boys sports at the high school level or raising fees by $100.

The proposed cuts inspired an outcry from parents, teachers and others who said they would hurt education.

Tuesday, most board members said it would do more damage to the district than good.


"Our schools are about kids," said board member Terry Throndson, echoing comments made by other members. "I can't accept most of it."

But while that option seemed DOA, the board has yet to reach agreement on a solution. Indeed, the number of proposals and approaches to the district's $5 million problem seemed to multiply and grow as it wrestled with the 2011-2012 budget.

In Tuesday's board meeting, Throndson said he's coming up with his own budget solution in consultation with a group of current and past teachers and principals, although he had no specifics. In addition, board member Julie Workman proposed additional budget reductions that included cutting $152,000 in district administration at the Edison Building and eliminating the district's Volunteer in Education coordinator position.

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