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Public urges S-G school board to break tax cap

District’s budget cuts about 40 positions, reductions total $2.3M

Dale Olsen, father of two students, was one of many parents and community members petitioning the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education to forego proposed reductions in next school year's budget during its meeting on Monday, March 19.

Dale Olsen, father of two students, was one of many parents and community members petitioning the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education to forego proposed reductions in next school year's budget during its meeting on Monday, March 19. Photo by John Purcell.

— The district is proposing to eliminate three AP offerings, with both Java and statistics courses eliminated due to enrollment reductions. Swartz has said courses with less than 15 students signed up will not be offered. Also, AP physics would be eliminated, but honors physics will be offered. There would still be 10 AP courses offered to high school students under the proposal.

“We have courses where one student wanted the course and courses where as many as 12 students wanted the course,” Swartz said, “but I have held to that 15.”

In the district’s University in the High School program there are two offerings being eliminated due to declining enrollment— child growth and development and e-commerce.

Resident Megan Beauchamp urged the board to give the community a chance to vote on a budget above the tax levy limit, which she believes the community would support.

“You need to give us a chance to do that,” Beauchamp said.

She said she and some other residents are going to circulate a petition throughout the district to get signatures support going over the tax levy limit. The state tax cap requires a 60 percent supermajority of support for a budget over the cap.

“With all due respect to the board, I think we are going to do it whether you like the idea or not,” she said. “I think we need to see what our neighbors think … we need to get out there and talk to them and inform them what is on the table.”

One resident cautioned that ever-increasing taxes aren’t going to be a sustainable long-term solution.

“I don’t think that people understand that it might be a short-term fix for a year,” Nicole Broadhead said. “Eventually you hit a burden where you cannot keep raising taxes and we need to figure out how to spend what we have.”

Broadhead urged the board to think of new ways to offer programming. Also, she asked residents to push for changes to state mandates affecting the district.

“I recommend that cuts need to be made, but I think we need to look long-term and look out of the box and be creative with what we are going to do,” Broadhead said. “If people are unhappy with cutting we need to reach out to state legislators and let our minds be known.”

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