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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 31, 2011

Taxes to go up 2 percent, spending down to $21.3M

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — The school board unanimously accepted a $21.3 million spending proposal for the next school year — a decrease of about 1.8 percent in spending from the current budget.

A last-minute restoration of $79,659 in state aid was split between reducing taxes and adding back some things that had been cut from the budget, according to the district’s assistant superintendent for business, Sarita Winchell.

Between the state-aid restoration and money that came from changing the summer special-education program, the district is putting $53,599 toward reducing the tax burden and putting $26,100 back into the budget, which will restore a half-time teaching position in the music department, a special-education teaching assistant, and $12,000 for utilities.

The net effect of reductions on the teaching staff will be 1.5 full-time equivalents in the middle school, Winchell said, stressing that the reduction is due to enrollment rather than budgetary concerns.  Average class sizes in the middle school will be 23 to 24 students, she said, over four sections rather than the five sections currently in rotation.

Although the proposed budget is $391,172 less than the current year’s budget, the tax levy will increase 2.07 percent, Winchell said.  While the budget as a whole has decreased, the amount of revenue coming in to the district has decreased more, which means that more of the budget has to be shouldered by taxpayers.

Residents of the district will vote on the budget on May 17.

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