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Parents Question Trustees On After-School Program

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Several upset parents came to Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting to question the board members about when they would be discussing the Morse After-School Program.

“I know you say you’re going to put it on the agenda,” Lorena Carchipulla said. “But it’s been a month. How long is it going to take you? Two months go by fast and we have to know where we’re going to leave our children.”

The Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees cut the program from the 2011-2012 budget to the outrage of parents with children in the program. The program, established in 1988, provides after-school care to 40 students, with families paying $125 per student per month.

Laura Rey Iannarelli and Herbert Weltig also asked the board when it would be discussing the program. Weltig, a father of two, asked the board to publish information behind cutting the program.

“I don’t see where is the justification of cutting the line item if you don’t say, ‘Look, it’s costing us $20,000, we’re going to save it,’” he said. “You’re just cutting the program because you think -- from my understanding you don’t have any actual facts to back up those claims. I think you need to publish that. I think you need to publish that soon, because these parents have to make a decision sometime in August.”

Mayor Ken Wray told the parents that the board would be discussing the program in July. Wray noted that the board would “notice that through the website and on the board as part of our regular agenda.” Exact numbers will be discussed during the work session when the matter is scheduled, according to Wray.

Iannarelli requested an exact date of the discussion, since, as she mentioned, many parents are planning vacations and other things. Wray said he still needed to do some things, so he couldn’t give an exact date at the time. After the meeting, Wray said they needed to make sure they had all the costs accounted for.

Weltig told the board he had called the mayor’s office twice and was told to come to the last work session because they would be discussing the program, but they did not. “Continuing to put it off doesn’t help us,” he said.

Wray apologized for Weltig getting the wrong information and noted that the village usually publishes the agenda in advance and they certainly publish them the day of the meeting.

Carchipulla asked the board to “consider what we have to do with our kids.”

“Please don’t give the parents the run around,” Carchipulla said. “You guys told us last time that it was going to be within a week, now it’s here a month.”

How do you feel about the elimination of the after-school program?

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