WYANDANCH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A financially struggling school district on Long Island was just dealt another setback as voters defeated the school budget for a second time.
Now, Wyandanch faces a tax freeze next year featuring cuts and layoffs, with students suffering the consequences, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.
The defeat means the students will face repercussions.
“It wouldn’t just hurt me, it would hurt a lot of other kids, too,” one student said.
From the oldest, a rising senior, to his youngest brother about to begin, and three more Abdullah siblings also in the Wyandanch schools.
“I like some of the teachers too. They’re really cool,” Sham Abdullah said.
“You get to read new books, and also you research stuff, and do activities,” Khalima said.
“Math, because it makes me think. I like thinking,” Noah added.
But math club could be gone, as well as pre-K, sports and after-school activities. School bus routes will likely face cuts. Teachers and other staff may be looking at layoffs. All of it is due to a new contingency budget that clamps tight restrictions on spending.
“The board will do its sworn duty. They’ll figure out a way to make this work as best it can, considering the situation,” Wyandanch Public Schools spokesman Nathan Jackson said. “We’re just trying not to hurt the kids
Wyandanch, which has 2,800 students, is the poorest district in Suffolk County. The 20 percent tax hike, which far exceeds the state-imposed tax cap, was decisively defeated in a re-vote.
“Transparency. I’d like to know where my dollars are going,” one parent said.
Others complained the system’s fiscal operations are woeful, and that there are deep divisions between the school board and top administrators.
Wyandanch’s seven-member school board backed the budget and scheduled a series of public meetings, where budget rejection and its consequences can be hashed out.
Lawmakers who represent the district said they’re having some hard discussions now in Albany about help.
“Hopefully architecture,” Sham Abdullah when asked about big dreams for his future.
The first community meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.