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Education aid and tax relief needed for CNY

Times are tough, and families are doing everything they can just to make ends meet. The particularly harsh winter didn’t help, driving utility bills through the roof and making the cost-of-living even less affordable. Central New York families have struggled for long enough. That’s why I fought for a state budget that includes funding for vital programs and initiatives to relieve the burden on hardworking families.

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LHS group seeks to break down barriers, cliques, end bullying

I Am Norm is an extracurricular group at Liverpool High School that aims to promote inclusion and end bullying by bringing together kids of all different backgrounds.

OCM BOCES to host Common Core academies for educators

Central New York educators can take advantage of courses designed to help them implement the Common Core curriculum at OCM BOCES next week. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 27 and 28, educators in the Syracuse area can attend Discovery Education’s Common Core Academies at BOCES’ Central New York Regional Information Center, 6075 East Molloy Road, Syracuse. The courses will be lead by Common Core state standards expert Dr. Karen Beerer and hosted by Discovery Education, a publisher and content provider that offers textbooks and multimedia content that support Common Core implementation.

North Syracuse proposes cutting more than 30 jobs

The North Syracuse Central School District is looking at cuts to more than 30 positions as part of its 2014-15 budget, according to a presentation given at the NSCSD Board of Education’s March 24 meeting. The district’s 2014-15 budget, totaling $145,297,379, is up 1. 2 percent from last year. Most of that increase comes from salaries, benefits and other contractual obligations, over which the district has little control. The budget also includes a reduction of 9 percent in supplies, fuel and other costs.

OCC child care faces cuts

Community college students may soon have a harder time finding child care while they go to school. In his 2014-15 executive budget proposal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed cutting $653,000 from the state’s operating grant to the State University of New York’s child care centers. The cut would come in addition to a reduction in the federal Child Care Block Grant, which subsidizes care for children of needy student-parents. While the New York State Senate restored Cuomo’s cut in their budget proposal, advocates say the cuts faced by SUNY centers in the last several years are still devastating and need to be restored. And it’s community colleges that will likely see the most damaging consequences.

Liverpool voters approve Phase II construction referendum

Voters approved a Liverpool Central School District capital project referendum held March 20 by a margin of 959 to 641. The $39.7 million construction project represents Phase II of the Phase I to V Long Range Facilities Plan laid out for the 2010-20 decade. The project will take on several repairs throughout the district.

NSCSD settles suit over GRMS construction

The North Syracuse Central School District has reached a settlement with the company that improperly installed the walls at Gillette Road Middle School when the school was renovated in 2005.

Get rid of the GEA now

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York is looking at a $2 million budget surplus. Cuomo has talked a lot about the surplus and his plans for it. Unfortunately for him, it’s not his money to spend.

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NSCSD launches letter campaign to eliminate the GEA

In an effort to get rid of a state policy many school districts say is unfair to schools and taxpayers, the North Syracuse Central School District is asking residents to send letters to their legislators demanding the repeal of the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

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Hallowrun organizer honored

Elizabeth Westfall has accomplished a lot — especially for a 15-year-old. Now, Westfall has received recognition for those efforts. She received a Certificate of Excellence from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, as well as a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama.

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WCNY-FM offers special radio service for blind and visually impaired

For more than three decades, WCNY-FM has been serving the blind and visually-impaired residents of Central New York with a special radio service called READ-OUT.

OCC to host business conference

Onondaga Community College is more than just an asset for students seeking an associate’s degree in one of the numerous programs they offer. OCC is home to the NYS Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC provides one-on-one advisement to start up and existing businesses. OCC staff at the SBDC consists of small business advisors who can advise an entrepreneur on making their business a success. The SBDC works with businesses of all varieties; home based, e-commerce, manufacturing firms — small to large. Services provided by the SBDC are free and confidential. Additionally, the SBDC partners with statewide agencies which provide a strong network of support. Some of the support the SBDC can assist with is business plan development, small business start-ups, organizational structures, exporting, cost analysis, marketing, financial management, financing strategies, training programs, business expansion, selling a business and research.

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Local artist blooms in Baldwinsville

When you walk into Baldwinsville’s Canal Walk Cafe, you’re surrounded by the talents of local artists in a variety of media: culinary, crafting and paintings just to name a few. What you may not know is that one of those artists responsible for the eclectic and eye-catching decor is also involved in dishing up your palate’s preference. Meet your server, Jackie Colello, a gifted painter whose passion involves another kind of palette: color.

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As testing regulations increase, more and more parents choose to homeschool their children

As controversies over Common Core and mandated standardized tests become more and more prevalent, many parents are choosing a new option in educating their children: homeschooling. Once the sole province of the very religious, homeschooling is becoming more popular every day, with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Nationwide, about 2 million children learn at home instead of in a brick-and-mortar school, up from about 1 million in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure and general safety.

Parents plead for NSCSD to reinstate parochial school nurse position

Parents of children attending the two parochial schools in the North Syracuse Central School District descended on the board of education Monday night to implore them to reconsider a decision they say could have fatal consequences. On Feb. 24, at its regular meeting, the NSCSD BOE voted to cut the full-time registered nurse position at St. Rose of Lima School in North Syracuse as well as the full-time registered nurse position at St. Margaret's School in Mattydale. The board then voted to create one full-time position and one part-time position to be shared between the two schools. The reduction would leave each school without a nurse for about two hours a day. The decision came about a month after St. Rose’s full-time nurse resigned from her position. The district has been paying a substitute. They opted to cut the position instead of hiring a new full-time nurse for St. Rose, which has many parents worried about their children’s health and safety.

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