Salaries was the topic of discussion at the South Colonie School District's budget meeting on Tuesday, March 8 at Saddlewood Elementary School, where Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Tim Backus had to remind the crowd all the information was preliminary.
There was some conflict over the number presented when Backus said benefits for teachers will be raised by $1,481,755, along with raises in teacher salaries by $494,455 for kindergarten through sixth grade and $421,298 for seventh through twelfth grade. Some parents could justify those numbers are there is a possibility of twelve teachers being laid off.
There is a reduction of positions but they do not always result in layoffs, said Backus, who explained that some teachers may retire or head to another district. "There's a lot of turn over a lots of things happening during that time period. We try to wait to start talking to people because we do have to deliver bad news to people, but we still will be able to watch what happens."
Monitors will also be seeing a reduction in 8 full time positions in the coming school year, which Backus said is mainly due to the high amount of turnover that occurs in the position. He added that as more students come into the school, they add additional monitors to accommodate them.
A member of the audience suggested the district looked into freezing salaries or reduce raises after hearing about the million dollar increase to teacher's salaries, due to the current economic climate. Backus said the option might be explored.
"I think from the standpoint, too, moving forward through these economic times as they continue, we might be looking at that," he said.
There were also some areas of the budget where there were increases with items such as musical equipment and travel budgets, but while there might be a $10,000 increases in one area, there is another portion of the budget where there was a $10,000 reduction.