MCDONALD Head of school board criticizes Taft on funding

The high school pool is named after the Royal Swan Club founder.
McDONALD -- School board President Robert Jones took Gov. Bob Taft to task Monday for sending school districts statewide scrambling to find money to cover new budget cuts.
"Gov. Taft violated a state law. I want to know why he hasn't been arrested and put in jail," Jones said, referring to the failure to follow a state Supreme Court-ordered change in the way public schools are funded.
Jones said every school in the state is scrambling to find money since the new state budget was announced, and he admonished the governor to "get off the stick" and get something done.
"If he can't do it, maybe he should resign," Jones said.
Superintendent Robert Bloniarz told Jones that the district now has 49 pupils signed up under the new open enrollment plan, which will help to increase the district's revenues on a per pupil basis in state aid in the fall.
Locked schools
In other matters, Bloniarz told the board of education Monday that he has instructed building principals to keep the elementary school and the high school on lock-down status, "because of the times and the possibility of terrorist threats."
The schools and police have agreed to allow 30-minute parking in front of the school on Iowa Avenue for parents.
Any visitors to the high school must enter the building through the front doors on Iowa.
The board approved changing school policy on when it will allow scheduled activities on Sundays, saying in the new policy that no activities are to begin before 1 p.m. The policy states that the board "recognizes the importance of allowing time on Sundays for families to be together."
In another new policy, the board is prohibiting any school-related activities on days that regularly scheduled school is canceled because of inclement weather.
Any exception to the rule must be approved by the superintendent, and then the activity cannot take place before 1 p.m.
Swimming pool
The board also named the high school swimming pool after Connie Marion, now 81, a school employee for many years, honoring her for her dedication to the children of McDonald schools and for starting the Royal Swan Club in 1950.
Marion, who now resides in a nursing home in Cortland, retired in 1982, but started teaching at the high school in 1950 as a seventh-through-12th-grade girls' physical education teacher and a science teacher for grades seven and eight.
In 1961-62, she was a part-time guidance counselor, and in 1962 she became a full-time counselor. She was also athletic director from 1967 to 1974 and became the first woman athletic director in the inter-county league. The pool will be named the Constance Marion Swimming Pool.
The board accepted donations totaling $6,000 for the lift-a-thon weight room fund: $5,000 from Steel & amp; Alloy Specialists, Inc. and the Gallo Family, $500 from the McDonald Track and Field and Cross Country Club and $500 from the McDonald Midgets Football Organization.