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Shen adopts budget of $151.5M

— A recent poll cited Mandarin Chinese as the most important world language after English in business.

The most significant challenges to the district over the last couple of years can in large part be attributed to rising costs in prescription drug plans as well as health and dental plans, which add up to $2.5 million. State mandated contributions to the employee and teacher retirement systems also add significant costs to the budget with an expected $1.1 million increase.

Contractual salaries are expected to increase by $1.1 million and transportation fuel costs are expected to go up by $124,000 next year.

Strategic reductions implemented by the district last year resulted in a cost reduction of $4.3 million. One of those changes included self-funding the district’s prescription drug program and offering a variety of less expensive Medicare Advantage programs.

Other reductions include that of six instructional positions because of shifts in enrollment. All of those positions are being eliminated through retirements.

Residents will be considering separate of the budget, a proposition to allow the purchase of 19 buses. This would cost approximately $8.9 million, 63 percent of which would be reimbursed from state transportation aid and represent a 0.17 percent tax rate increase effective in the 2013-14school year.

Two of seven seats on the Board of Education are up for election, each carrying a term of 3 years. Incumbents running for re-election are William Acker and Janet Gray. First time runners are Anthony Morelli and Robert Pressly.

The budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 15, from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Gowana Middle School Gym. Absentee ballots must be returned no later than May 15.

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