continued Even though the district has cut more than 60 positions over the last three years, Spring said student performance has increased, which could end up paying off for the district.
“We are one of the few schools in the area that were qualified for the performance grant that Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo put out earlier this year and we did apply for that,” she said. “It could be upwards of $600,000 to kind of counter some of the things we are talking about it this budget.”
If the district is awarded the grant, it won’t know how much it is receiving until June or July, which is after the May budget vote.
“If we do get the grant, better late than never, we’ll be able to add back in some of the positions,” Spring said.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Denise Swezey gave an overview of changes to general support, operations and maintenance and transportation budgets. Some of the changes included consolidation of regular bus runs, extending late bus reductions from five days a week to two days a week at each building, maintaining field trip reductions, reducing supplies budgets and performing more maintenance by district staff.
The average class size would also increase across all grade levels, Spring said, with the average K-12 class size going from 23 to 27 students to 25 to 29 students.
“A lot of the cuts have to do with increasing class size versus cutting programs,” Spring said. “We wanted to keep as much program in place as possible for all of our kids.”
Further details on class size increases were presented at the district’s second community budget forum on Wednesday, March 7, after The Spotlight went to press. The next budget presentation will be held on Monday, March 19, during the Board of Education meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the high school’s Farnsworth Technology Center, and will focus on BOCES, special education, employee benefits, guidance and health and nurse services.