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BC continues to find cuts

The next board meeting will be Wednesday, March 17, when the K-12 instructional program and athletics will be among the items of discussion. 14 teaching positions are among the cuts administrators will put forward. That meeting will be held at the High School in anticipation of high attendance.

The Board of Education is scheduled to adopt a budget the following week, on March 24, or on March 31 if they cannot reach a consensus at that meeting. The public votes on the budget May 18.

The public will also vote on a separate $1.4 million bus replacement referendum, the cost of which is not included in the budget. If approved, the cost would be bonded over five years.

The referendum, approved Wednesday night, includes 15 vehicles"11 large buses, four medium ones, and would equate to zero growth in the Transportation Department's fleet.

The referendum is $200,000 higher than last year's, even though fewer vehicles are included. The cost of steel and new EPA emission standards are driving up the price of vehicles, said district CFO Judith Kehoe, who added deferring the purchase of new buses can result in hidden maintenance costs.

"The newer buses are easier to maintain," she said.

Two Board of Education seats will also be up. Lisa Allendorph has announced she will not seek another 3-year term. Diane Giacone Stever's term is also up. Petitions are due by April 19 with 73 signatures.

It is possible the Board of Education will also put to vote a referendum to increase the walking distance from the high and middle schools from one half mile to a greater distance. They will be receiving more information on the impact and potential cost savings from the Transportation Department at their next budget workshop.

There is no walking distance for elementary schools; all students are offered bus service.

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