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Schalmont budget picture brightens up

District proposes 1.9 percent tax levy increase, with $340k budget gap

— “We have typically been losing on the average between 40 to 45 kids every single school year,” Kelsey. “We have just seen our kindergarten enrollment … and it seems to be for the first time we are looking at some stabilization.”

The best-case scenario for the district, she said, is for enrollment to stabilize and not to continue to decrease. If nothing “unusual” happens, Kelsey said the projected enrollment for 2018-19 would be 1,753 students.

Although the district isn’t facing double-digit staff reductions and a budget gap stretching into the millions, Kelsey stressed the district still faces difficult budgets in upcoming years.

“While the closing of schools, the cutting of staff have made us relatively solvent … the prognosis for us is no different than other schools with the tax cap,” she said. “We will probably have to cut next year anywhere from half a million to maybe $750,000 … things are not going to get any better unless something changes.”

During the Budget Advisory Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, March 13, Kelsey outlined proposed district-wide reductions.

Administration at the Middle and High School is set to be reduced by 0.6 FTE through restructuring duties. Declining enrollment is also leading to reducing teaching staff by two FTE, which stems several minor cuts to around nine positions.

Support staff holds the largest reduction at 5.63 FTE, which includes reducing library and teacher aides district wide by 3.25 FTE, high school security personnel reduced by one FTE, maintenance personnel by 0.2 FTE and reducing hall and bus monitors by 1.18 FTE.

Class sizes are planned to remain unchanged under the proposed budget.

Kelsey is scheduled to present her final budget proposal to the committee and school board on Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The school board is scheduled to adopt the 2012-13 budget proposal on Monday, April 16, which will go before voters on Tuesday, May 15.

For more information on Schalmont’s budget proposal and budget calendar visit the district’s website at www.schalmont.org.

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