SCOTIA Scotia-Glenville community members at a Monday, March 19, meeting urged the Board of Education to go above the state tax cap, but the school board appears steadfast in staying under the threshold.
To remain below the tax levy cap, Scotia-Glenville Central School District can propose up to a 2.93 percent tax levy increase in its 2012-13 budget. Superintendent Susan Swartz is proposing to do just that, which leaves the district to cut about $2.3 million. The reductions result in the elimination of 40.3 full-time equivalent positions across the district in “every possible area,” Swartz said during the board meeting.
A carry forward budget maintaining all current programs would require a spending increase of $2.87 million, or a 6.1 percent increase in the total budget. Each 1 percent increase in the tax levy equals roughly $250,000.
Snake Hill Road resident Brian Burns, a father of nine children, urged the board to seek other options instead of getting rid of programming. Burns said he believes sport opportunities are a vital role to education.
“I think before a program is eliminated, where there is no option for the program, maybe something can be done with the parents and the participants to save that program and give these boys and girls a place,” Burns said.
Burns said he is “tired of paying taxes,” but he would happily “open up his checkbook” to allow for his children to have programming.
Board of Education President Pamela Carbone clarified later in the meeting that the district can’t have a “pay to play” sport offerings and the district can’t seek or request donations to fund programming. The district can receive donations it can mark for specific areas.
Resident Linda Kalasinski said her high school junior daughter takes many AP classes and urged the board to not cut AP courses offered to students since it is important for college applications.