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Voorheesville Board of Education OKs $22.6M budget

Spending plan holds 3.23 percent tax hike; freshman basketball could be restored

The Voorheesville Board of Education adopted a 2013-14 budget on Tuesday, April 23, during a special meeting. From left, Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder, Board President Timothy Blow and Board Vice-President Cheryl Dozier.

The Voorheesville Board of Education adopted a 2013-14 budget on Tuesday, April 23, during a special meeting. From left, Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder, Board President Timothy Blow and Board Vice-President Cheryl Dozier. Photo by John Purcell.

— The aquatics program budget is reduced by almost $8,500, but the athletic director is working to restructure it, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Gregory Diefenbach.

Other reductions include eliminating one bus route and cutting field trips by 50 percent for $24,5000 in savings; reducing clerical work time by one month for a $19,000 savings; eliminating the middle/high school art club, FBLA, Masterminds and Envirothon clubs; reducing humanities funding for speakers, supplies and stipends; and reducing equipment purchases by $41,500.

The four clubs eliminated have had funds allocated in previous budgets, but there was not a lot of interest in them, according to Diefenbach.

“They are basically clubs that are just not active, so there is no sense to hold a dollar amount aside for them if it is not going to be used,” Diefenbach said.

One reduction that caused some pushback from the public was cutting funds allocated for substitutes by $37,000. Diefenbach said there is approximately $90,000 budgeted for substitutes next school year.

Blow said reducing substitute funding would “impact the classroom,” but employees would not be directly affected.

“The feeling of the administration is that could be picked up in other ways, to reduce the costs of substitutes,” Diefenbach said.

Instead of calling a substitute, Blow said classes could be covered by a study hall with classroom work to complete, or a test could be given.

Christina Berte, a high school science teacher, said the reduction could potentially have “a lot of negative impact.” The cut wouldn’t affect the elementary school.

“We depend on qualified substitutes when we are absent to conduct classes for us, whether that is administering a test, showing an educational video or conducting an actual lesson,” Berte said. “A concern would be a loss of instructional time if those students were simply sent to study halls … because a teacher there … would be unable to do those things that we depend on.”

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