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Parents looking to raise money for advisers

September 11, 2012
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

FONDA - Fonda-Fultonville High School Principal David Halloran held a meeting Monday with parents to try and set up an alternative plan to fund extracurricular activities after the 2012-13 budget cut advisory stipends out.

Speaking to an assembled group of parents at the school, Halloran said that the purpose of the meeting was to "get out on the front end" and try to start raising funds in case negotiations between interim Superintendent Patrick Michel and the Fonda-Fultonville Teachers Association fall through.

Michel is negotiating with the union about allowing volunteers to take the adviser positions normally reserved for teachers. Michel said he hopes to have an agreement by the end of this week.

Back in August, the Board of Education announced Fonda-Fultonville Central School District boosters would need to raise funds to pay advisers' stipends so extracurricular clubs can have activities for the 2012-13 school year.

The budget for the 2012-13 school year does not include stipends for club advisers, who usually are teachers. Without a club or class adviser, the students cannot access any of the money already gathered through fundraising.

Michel said in August that members of the teachers union have a "first right of refusal" to prevent volunteers from absorbing their former roles as advisers.

Halloran created a list of several clubs that require advisers to run. According to Halloran, across nine clubs, more than $11,000 needs to be raised to hire new advisers. Halloran also said he would leave it up to the parents to raise the money, which there are a variety of ways to do.

Many of the parents at the meeting said when they voted for the budget, they did not know this was going to happen.

"I'm disappointed that the community didn't have enough sight to see how much the kids were going to lose. It is never easy to raise taxes, but these are our children. These are our future," Tracy Hidde, parent of a senior at the school, said.

Robin Rose, secretary for Halloran and former junior class co-adviser, said she understood times are tough, and positions needed to be cut, but she was not happy that no one informed the district that the adviser positions would need to be funded.

"We were left at the last minute scrambling. That is why we are stuck in this position," Rose said

Linda Denton, another parent of a student, said she is confident the parents will be able to raise the needed money.

"We're hoping to meet Friday night at the Fultonville McDonalds and have senior parents stop by and make a donation of any amount," Denton said.



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