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Schalmont OKs teacher contract

Changes to save district nearly $400k annually, shrink budget gap

— Kelsey said although the district’s allowable property tax levy increase under the state mandated property tax cap is above two percent, the school board hasn’t expressed an interest in going above a 2 percent increase. State aid is expected to remain flat.

“Our feeling is that we want to stay under 2 [percent], because we just need to,” she said.

District officials are predicting eight to nine full-time equivalent positions will be cut in the 2012-13 budget. The cuts would be spread across all departments. The district’s workforce has shrunk by 13 percent over the past few years, according to district officials.

The teacher’s union expressed commitment towards implementing the state’s new evaluation program, which is required by the Race to the Top grant awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Education. A committee has been working to meet the regulations.

“We are working through that very nicely and we don’t see any problem, and we should be able to implement (teacher evaluations) for September,” Kelsey said.

The district is also planning on moving forward a joint grant proposal with Mohonasen and Duanesburgh school districts to apply for state grant funding to study shared services.

The Schalmont Board of Education is planning to vote on the grant proposal at its next meeting on Monday, Feb. 27. The district’s Budget Advisory Committee will meet for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at the middle school at 6 p.m.

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