Bethlehem keeps modified sports

Tebbano, who requested the board not increase his salary for the next two years, said the restoration of state aid through state budget restoration and federal stimulus money was "probable."

Many of the suburban council schools, including Bethlehem and Guilderland, are not privy to "title one" funding from the government, because Tebbano said, they considered "affluent districts."

Before the meeting began, the board had cut $1.4 million from its budget, which had increased nearly $5 million over last year's through contractual raises, cost-of-living increases, supply increases and other annual expenditure hikes. District officials have described the budget as a "rollover budget" from last year's.

By the meeting's end, the board's tentative budget reductions did not total more than $1.8 million.

In a rare 5-to-2 split vote, the board voted to eliminate paying the fee associated with hockey, golf and bowling. Board members Diane Glacone Stever and Matt Downey voted against the cuts. District spokesman Matt Leon said the district would still supply everything else, such as uniforms, coaches and referees.

However, those clubs will be responsible for raising the money for their respective fees to play.

The district pays $21,000 to rent the ice rink from the Capital District YMCA, which the board said is "the biggest check we write" for any single sports expenditure.

Tebbano said the board would be drafting a "district fundraiser policy" to be presented at the next board of education meeting on April 22, which is when the board is expected to officially adopt its 2009-2010 budget proposal for voters to weigh in on in May.

He also said he would be willing to sit in on talks with the YMCA to see if some fundraising changes could be made because they do not allow 50/50 raffles and other types of common fundraising at the facility on Delaware Avenue.

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