Personnel, program cuts possible at CVCS

SINCLAIRVILLE – The Cassadaga Central School District Board of Education will work on the assumption that 6.2 teaching positions and 14 non-instructional positions will be cut for next school year. In addition, field trips, some extra curricular positions and materials and supplies will further reduce the budget by $62,737.

Business Administrator Debra McAvoy began the district’s second budget session by explaining the changes made to the budget information she presented at the last session.

The meeting took place before the State Senate’s projected budget amounts were announced.

The second draft budget includes as a revenue source $957,608 from the fund balance. This is the same amount that was used for the 2012-2013 budget. Use of money from the fund balance means that the district will not need to raise as much from the tax levy.

McAvoy included a 2 percent increase to the tax levy, an increase of $99,960. She used a projected figure of $55,148 as cuts in maintenance and energy costs that result from the closure of the Cassadaga Valley Elementary school. That figure did not include personnel reductions, which were dealt with separately for the whole district.

She said, “The long-term goal of the Board of Education has been to balance revenues and expenses without eliminating educational programs.”

Superintendent Scott Smith presented the information about possible staffing and program cuts. He declined to call the cuts “recommendations” but instead termed them as “items for the board’s consideration.” He explained that after meeting with the administrators, these were cuts that could be made while still maintaining programs.

In the elementary area (pre-k through 5), 3.5 teaching positions would be cut. One of these is by attrition. The program would lose a morning section of Pre-K and a teacher in each of grades 2, 4, and 5. This would mean that the elementary program would have two pre-K sections and three sections in the other grades.

Also at the elementary level, the guidance counselor position that is currently vacant would be cut and the current music teacher who is retiring would be replaced by a .5 music position.

At the middle/high school, one English position and one part-time social studies teacher would be cut. Both of these can be done through attrition.

A current .6 math position was recommended for increase so the total reduction is expressed as 6.2 positions in the teaching area.

Non-instruction staff cuts would total 14 – seven teacher aides, one custodian, one bus driver, one nurse, two typists, and two school lunch employees.

A total of $62,737 would be cut from programs. This would include extracurricular positions, athletic coaching positions, materials and supplies, and district funded field trips.

Smith said, “The cuts (for extracurricular and athletic coaching positions) were made with feedback from advisers. They were made for activities that had a low number of participants.”

After discussion, members agreed they want the budget to be created using the cuts outlined at this session. It also asked McAvoy to consider the effect of increases to state aid (which might become more clear within the next few days) and to take out some of the funding for an external audit, which may no longer be required for smaller school districts.

The Board is next scheduled to meet on April 15 at 7 p.m.

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