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S-G BOE reviews additional budget cuts

School officials ask for pay freezes to ease burden

Scotia-Glenville Board of Education members now know what the final phase of proposed reduction would include to reach a tax increase of 1.94 percent.

Superintendent Susan Swartz presented her revised Phase Three reductions and what further proposed budget cuts in a new Phase Four would entail during the board's budget workshop on Monday, March 14. The final phase of reductions totaled $40,993 and included continuing a temporary secretary in the Superintendent's Office, eliminating one full-time equivalent classroom aide position and reducing district equipment purchases. Swartz also hoped some sort of an agreement could be reached on a possible pay freeze or cost reducing options by March 21, before the next budget workshop meeting.

As we work together to try to face a pretty significant budget challenge we have to look at some things, said Swartz. " I met with the leaders of collective bargaining units on March 3 to talk about potential cost containment strategies. I have sent them away to have a conversation amongst their members to think about things that we might do."

The revised Phase Three reductions included a total of $275,430 in cuts, which included to 2 FTE Opportunities And Programming for Learners teachers, 2 FTE teacher aides, 0.4 FTE foreign language, 0.6 float nurse and 0.5 FTE teaching assistant, eliminating the Young Scholars at sixth grade and eliminating On-Line Application System for Educators.

Swartz said the library media specialists could step out to help out with the reduction in of OPAL staff.

"The library media specialists serve all of the students in the school. If I am going to look at how to spend my dollars wisely it would be the library media specialists," said Swartz.

Despite pleas by the foreign language department at a recent meeting, the board seems to have agreed as much as they would like to keep the program staffed at the same level, the cut is just a decision they had to make.

"One of the things I would like to see is flexibility, if other people come out with other alternatives to not eliminate programs if the money comes from elsewhere," said board member Benjamin Conlon. "I like to hear what the community has to say, but I also like to hear what the bargaining units have to say."

Board President Pamela Carbone said she doesn't see any other alternatives for where to cut currently, so unless other options are presented, many of the current cuts might stick.""

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