Millions cut from Yonkers school budget; 500 jobs, extracurriculars eliminated

Parents and educators expressed their anger, shock and overall disapproval Monday night after the Yonkers Board of Education announced $20 million in school budget cuts. The budget cuts were approved by a 6 to 1 majority, and they will leave hundreds of educators without jobs and students without extracurricular activities.

In all, $1.2 million will be cut from athletics, which will end all varsity sports programs. Two million dollars will be cut from art programs and $2.4 million will be axed from the music curriculum. In addition, $1 million will be slashed from school security, which will eliminate almost of all of the guards in the district's middle and high schools. Between the cuts in courses and security, around 500 people will lose their jobs. The district is also closing the Mark Twain Pool, which hosted several recent swim meets.

Without extracurricular activities, students will have a number of unscheduled periods, which will become study halls. Members of the teachers union think decreasing activities and increasing study hall time is absurd. They contend that students will have nothing to do during those extra study halls. District officials say the cuts are coming from un-mandated programs, and all core requirements are being preserved.

The superintendent and board president would not comment on whether there is a chance the jobs can be saved. Yonkers officials were banking on getting more funding from the state, but the additional aid never came.

The cuts will take effect on December 1.

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