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Ripley tuition vote leaves town divided

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Buffalo: Ripley tuition vote leaves town divided
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Reaction is mixed in Ripley as voters decided Tuesday night to send their high school students to another district. YNN's Mark Goshgarian tells us how the decision has impacted the district and divided the community.

RIPLEY,N.Y. "I'm disappointed for the whole town of Ripley," said Ashley Pinzok, Ripley resident.

Pinzok had hoped her children would go to high school there. She voted no Tuesday night on a proposition to send 130 seventh through 12th graders to another district.

"We didn't get any specific answers on the tuitioning, what any of the amount would have been," said Pinzok.

Voters narrowly approved a plan allowing the school board to negotiate tuition costs with other school districts, and is working on an agreement with Chautauqua Lake.

The vote comes following years of declining enrollment and decreasing state aid.

While 18 teachers in Ripley will lose their job, the board says the move will help students succeed.

"It's a great thing for education in Ripley, kids are going to have much more options. Everybody was entitled to an opinion, I hope this gets behind us quickly and we support the new direction of Ripley," said Bob Bentley, School Board President.

As the debate continues over whether the move is actually good for the district, there's any ever bigger debate brewing over the impact it will have on entire town of Ripley.

"I think it'll have a very negative impact. I think its extremely detrimental, the town's been declining, we don't have a town board or school board that's been working to build it up," said Wanda Bentley, Ripley resident.

Yet, town supervisor Douglas Bowen says sending students to other districts will have a positive impact on the area, and may entice people to move to Ripley.

"And what's available for the students in the school system is very important to families, and right now the town of Ripley has pretty low property values," said Douglas Bowen, Ripley Town Supervisor.

Pinzok believes it's one more loss the town can't afford.

"If there's no school, there won't be a Ripley, I mean that's the only thing we have left,"
said Pinzok. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP