Community voices opinions on proposed Syracuse City School District budget

When the Syracuse City School District School Board released their 2013-2014 proposed budget on February 13th, Syracuse Teacher's Association President Kevin Ahern said the district was in a "crisis."

With a projected 96 positions to be cut, community members and parents were given their chance to respond to the choices made in the latest budget on Thursday evening. Of the people that spoke, there were mixed reviews of the latest budget, with some parents suggesting for multiple proposals, so that the public would have more of a say in what decisions are made.

On the other hand, some community members sympathized with the school board's situation, and said they had even gone to Albany to campaign for more funding for school districts like Syracuse.

Rev. Kevin Agee, the Pastor of Hopps Memorial C.M.E. Church, said more people need to speak up to turn the tide of the cuts in the district.

"People have to mobilize and have to articulate our priorities and have to band together as a community to turn the tide," Agee says.

If the proposal goes through, that would mean 1000 position cuts in the last four years in the Syracuse City School District, something School Board President Stephen Swift says is attributed to rising health care costs and a tough economy.

"The economy has to improve," Swift says. "We have to get thing improved from that perspective, we have costs we have no control over and the pension and health care costs...those are things that are a challenge, not only for schools, but the city, the county, the state...everybody."