In late December in this space, I wrote a few paragraphs about a new reporter we were bringing on board to cover the local education scene. Since that time, Kelly Rocheleau has immersed himself in the challenge of covering public schools.
And a big part of that challenge has been diving into the complexities of budget season.
Over roughly the past three months, Kelly has been buried in numbers and names. The numbers are the key figures behind the school district budget proposals that have been formed for voters to approve or reject on Tuesday, May 16. The names are the dozens of people he has met with from local districts' administrations and boards of educations.
Through it all, he's put out important reports for voters in all of the districts we cover, which include the nine that make up the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES. If you missed any of the coverage on the district where you live, I encourage you to visit auburnpub.com and do a simple search for your district with Kelly's last name included in the search field.
In addition to that, though, you can also be on the lookout for the comprehensive school budget voting preview package that we'll be publishing on Sunday, May 14.
Kelly has been compiling information on all of the ballot items for local districts and putting it into an easy-to-read format. The guide will include details on budget proposals, including total spending and tax levy changes, along with information on any special proposals. He's also collecting responses from the men and women running for open school board seats, asking them for some basic biographical information as well as their top priorities for their districts and their reasons for running.
For those of you looking to get informed ahead of decisions you'll need to make on May 16, the voting preview package can be a valuable resource.
You can also count on Kelly and the newsroom team to provide coverage of the vote itself. Auburnpub.com will be posting results on all ballot items as they are reported to the newsroom Tuesday night, and we'll have stories and roundups about what happened and how people are reacting both online and in Wednesday's print edition.
NIE serial story contest
The Newspapers in Education program, which provides free copies of The Citizen and digital access to our products to hundreds of local students, has been publishing the annual serial story over the past several weeks. The Path to Freedom's final installment, chapter 8, will be published on Wednesday, May 17.
The story has been covering a key part of the Revolutionary War that happened in upstate New York.
As part of the NIE program, students who have been reading the story have a chance to win $100 for themselves and another $100 for their school library. A quiz/essay contest is being conducted via the New York News Publishers Association, and they will be taking submissions for the contest through May 24.
We were fortunate to have a winner from Port Byron in a similar serial story contest a couple of years ago. I'm hopeful we'll have another success to report this year.
You can get all of the contest details at auburnpub.com/nieblog.