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Bethlehem school district proposes reduction plan

"The second pool of money is the stabilization money and if that goes through, then hopefully that will bridge the [budget] gap," he said.

The district's Chief Financial Officer Judi Kehoe said the school must not only reduce expenditures, but also increase its revenues in order to create a balanced budget that would rely on a large tax levy increase. If the currently project budget of roughly $89 million dollars was reliant on the levy, she said, there would have to be a 10 percent increase in the current tax levy.

Tebbano said that would not be acceptable and that community wouldn't support it.

"If we do nothing at all, if we just try to float an $89 million budget, the community will not necessarily be happy about that, especially if we raise the property tax levy," Tebbano said at his presentation. "Even if we get some kind of stimulus money or stabilization money from the state, it's still going to place us in a category where the tax levy is going to be very high."

The tier one reductions include eliminating the elementary dean and some advisory positions; eliminating some after school supervision and evening chaperones in the middle school; some athletics department cuts such as no evening games and removing $25,000 from its budget; the elimination of an instrumental music teacher in the high school; eliminating non-public services for BOCES; the elimination of sabbaticals; and the elimination of a subject supervisor.

The second tier would include a reduction in special-subjects staff and the Jump Start program in the elementary school; the elimination of supervisor at the front office in the middle school and a reduction of $41,000 in the modified sports budget; the elimination of a math lab position in the middle school; an additional $50,000 reduction in the athletics department in the high school as well as some elimination of electives; the elimination of five special education aide positions; cutbacks in sporting transportation and supplies; and not sending one student to Tech Valley High School.

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