Saratoga Springs City Schools adopts budget

Proposal would raise tax levy by 2.56 percent, vote is in May

— On Tuesday April 10, the Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education met and adopted a proposed budget of $109.7 million for the2012-13 school year.

It represents a 1.14 percent increase over last year’s budget and calls for a tax levy increase of 2.56 percent. Voters will give the budget an up or down vote on May 15.

Some of the biggest reasons for the 1.14 percent increase stems from cuts in state aid and federal aid not being available, a situation repeated in other districts across the state.

In early March, Superintendant Janice White said there was an increase of state aid to the district in the amount of $400,000, but $5 million has been cut over the last four years since the recession took hold.

Cuts in the adopted budget include 18 positions, bringing the total number of reduced positions since 2009 to 64.5, according to Maureen Dana, spokeswoman for the district.

“There have been some consolidations and areas of reduction,” said Dana

Many of those positions were vacated by retirements. Twelve of them will not be refilled, according to White.

There has been a 20 percent reduction across the board in enhancement programs, such as after school and Saturday programming.

“We’re bringing back to the district students in BOCES programs with special needs. …We’ll have them receiving programs in the district and not contracting out for them,” White said.

There will also be services provided through BOCES to gifted students through the Library Media Specialist. The addition of BOCES programming being provided in the district will have a price tag of around $600,000 before state aid, according to White.

In addition to the budget, voters will have the chance to vote on propositions to create a capital reserve fund. The fund would have a cap of $3 million and have a 5-year life.

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