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UCSD Crisis Averted

Crisis averted…for the time being at least. Monday teachers breathing a shallow sigh of relief as the state budget shows numbers that mean fewer cuts than were expected in the Utica City School District just last week.

Crisis averted…for the time being at least.  Monday teachers breathing a shallow sigh of relief as the state budget shows numbers that mean fewer cuts than were expected in the Utica City School District just last week.

"If you live on the edge of you capacity every day because of your not knowing, that reinforces that element of fear," says Cherie Grant, Utica Teachers Association.

For four years, the Utica City School District has seen cuts.  And each year that's meant fewer and fewer teachers.  This year the Utica City School District will receive nearly $7 million.  But due to other expenses, only $4.5 million will cover the faculty costs.  That leaves a $2 million deficit which means cuts.

"This is where we are right now and we're doing the numbers to see how many positions we can restore with the amount of money that we received," says Bruce Karam, superintendent.

But even though there will be less cuts than expected, teachers say after four years of cuts, even a few positions lost will be a problem.

"Certainly we lose what's most important for the student and that's the teacher and individual attention," says Grace Leone, teacher.

But how does the cycle end?  Some believe the funding formula that determines which districts get the most money is flawed.

"The bottom line is that the funding formula and how state aid is allocated to districts needs to be analyzed and restructured.  So that high need districts like our own guarantees that our kids get the programming," says Grant.

And the superintendent told Eyewitness News that as of Monday, they're not sure how many cuts will be made and from what departments, but the cuts will be based on seniority

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