Weekly Feature

2011-02-17 / Education

Mazgajewski calls school budget ‘worst ever’


Cheektowaga-Sloan Superintendent James Mazgajewski described the school district’s proposed 2011-12 budget as the “perfect storm” at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.

He said the loss of revenue as well as the need for an increase in spending has made this year’s budget “the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The district lost $350,000 in state aid and $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money — or stimulus funds — from the federal government.

“That’s all gone,” he said.

Right now, the district is looking at a 5.42 percent increase in spending for next year’s budget. However, Mazgajewski said that includes everything that has been requested and the board will be looking to make cuts from there.

In addition to the preliminary budget discussion, two district principals also submitted letters to the board announcing their plans to retire.

Middle School Principal David Peters and Theodore Roosevelt Principal Thomas Slaiman will retire effective July 1, 2012.

Peters has been the middle school principal since it opened in 1997, and he has been with the district for 40 years. Slaiman taught in the Depew School District before coming to Cheektowaga-Sloan. He has been with the district for 20 years.

The principals went around the table hugging all of the board members after addressing the board.

Both principals said the decision to retire came because they wanted to spend more time with their families.

“It’s been a pleasure working for you,” Peters said to the board.

Slaiman compared his decision to retire to the retirement of a professional athlete and said he just knew when it was time.

“I wish it could go on forever, but I will make way for young blood,” he said.

Mazgajewski said he knew the time was coming for the two principals to announce their retirement and added that he is sorry to see them go.

“I will definitely miss them,” he said. “They will be hard to replace.”

In other news, the board members also approved an increase in the district’s facilities fees in order to increase revenue for the district.

e-mail: kkotz@beenews.com

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