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Students lobby for their school
by Patrice Walsh
They could've been home playing on this summer day but 70 students from West Irondequoit went to school.
The students invited State Assemblyman Joe Morelle to answer questions about funding cuts. Some students asked if the state could give the district more money so they won't have to cut programs like drama and some modified sports and lose field trips.
Morelle told them these cuts were made because the budget failed twice and the district had to adopt a contingency budget. That covers just essential items. He told them he will advocate for the district but said they need to rally voters next year and get the budget passed.
Morelle said the district received an 11 percent increase in state aid but faced challenges when it overrode the property tax cap.
Parents say this lesson has taught their children that sometimes you have to lobby and fight for things.
They say the cuts are painful but they're hopeful programs can be restored next year. Parents also say this process has brought the community together. Many groups are now fundraising to pay for sports and drama programs.