Assembly Bill Clears Major Hurdle Toward Regional High Schools
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CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, N.Y. — The same day Senator Cathy Young discussed her legislation in Jamestown to create a regional high school, the Democratic-controlled Assembly's education committee passed a similar bill sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Andrew Goodell.
"And they recognize a regional high school has a tremendous advantages in terms of increasing educational opportunities for our students, particularly in the smaller schools where they just don't have the course offerings anymore," said Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, (R) Jamestown.
Smaller districts at the center of the regional discussion in Chautauqua County include Westfield Academy and Central School, Chautauqua Lake, Brocton Central School, and Ripley Central School.
"Very excited to hear that the bill has seen some movement in the Assembly. Small schools like Ripley have been struggling for a long time and its only been compounded with what's happened in the world and in the state and the economic downturn," said Karen Krause, Ripley Superintendent.
"It's another piece of arsenal that we need to handle the fiscal crisis that we're into, so it is critical right now for the financial picture and quite frankly for courses for kids, especially high school, and enrollment is dropping as well," said John Hertlein, Brocton Superintendent.
Young's bill is currently on the Senate floor waiting to be voted upon, while Goodell's is headed to the Assembly's Ways and Means committee.
"This bill also has a financial impact, because the state would be providing incentive aid to assist in offsetting some of the costs of making a regional high school a reality," said Goodell.
If the bill passes the Ways and Means committee, Goodell says it could go to the Assembly floor in the coming weeks, yet if it fails in committee, the bill is off the table until next year.