S-G adopts $47.8M budget within tax cap

State aid increase restores librarian position, union concessions pending

— Despite some community members urging the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education to exceed the state mandated tax cap, the approved $47.8 million 2012-13 budget remains under the limit.

The Board of Education unanimously adopted a 2012-13 budget with a 2.93 percent tax levy increase on Monday, April 2, which included three phases of cuts totaling about $2.3 million.

If assessments and state equalization rates remain unchanged, the typical homeowner with an assessment of $160,000 would see a $95 tax increase. Spending would increase by 1.59 percent, or around $748,000, next school year under the adopted budget.

Robert Hanlon, spokesman for the district, said it is impossible for the district to offer the same programming and opportunities for students next school year. If the district did a rollover budget, Hanlon said taxes would have reached an “unacceptable” 12 percent increase.

“It won’t be a whole lot different, but it won’t be the same thing,” Hanlon said. “There is no way we can do the same with less. … There will be things that won’t be offered next year.”

The adopted budget eliminates 40.3 full-time equivalent staff positions, which include teaching and non-teaching positions, teaching assistants, aides and monitors. Four positions are being eliminated through retirements. There are about 500 staff members, so the reductions represent around 8 percent of the district’s staff, according to the district.

The adopted state budget increased district aid by $150,000 from the governor’s proposal. From that boost in state aide, $100,000 is being used to restore one of the two elementary librarian positions that had been proposed for elimination.

Also, around 0.3 of one middle school guidance consular position will be restored, which equals around a day and a half each week. The district’s labor unions are considering concessions that would restore the remaining part of the guidance position and possibly other programs.

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