Scotia-Glenville faces $2.3M budget gap

Layoffs, grade restructuring on the table, school closure talks in the future

— Scotia-Glenville Central School District is likely facing cuts to teaching positions and programs as it seeks to close a $2.3 million budget gap within the state mandated tax cap.

The district’s tax levy cap for 2012-13 holds it to a 2.93 percent levy increase, which would amount to just over $745,000. A carry forward budget for the district, maintaining all current offerings, would require a spending increase of $2.87 million, which is a 6.1 percent increase. If the Board of Education were to propose a 2 percent tax levy increase there would be a budget gap of around $2.53 million.

“Each year gets harder and harder as we have to make more and more cuts,” Board of Education President Pamela Carbone said. “The easy cuts have already been made, so now we are looking at some really hard cuts that are going to hurt. There is just no way around that anymore.”

Superintendent Susan Swartz said she imagines “there will be something to make everyone unhappy.”

On Monday, Feb.27, Swartz said she isn’t recommending closing one of the four elementary schools next school year, but said the Board of Education should discuss the option after wrapping up work on the 2012-13 budget. The district is “on track” to bring in another 200 students to kindergarten, keeping enrollment steady, said Swartz, but cost savings through closing a school would need to be explored.

“We are just trying to leave no stone unturned,” Swartz said. “It will really take us a year in order to do this and do this well.”

If an elementary school were to close, Swartz said it would likely be Glendaal or Glen-Worden, because students are already bused into the school. Sacandaga and Lincoln primarily serve village residents and have a large portion of students not using bus services.

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