Press-Republican

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May 5, 2013

Schroon Lake Central holds to tax cap

SCHROON LAKE — The proposed budget for Schroon Lake Central School reinstates six part-time positions that were cut last year because of economic worries.

“The 2013-2014 budget represents an increase in six part-time teaching positions that were previously reduced,” Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty said. 

“The positions have been increased to afford additional learning opportunities and academic support to students.”

Last year, music, art, social studies, language, technology and elementary-education positions were reduced from full- to part-time to save more than $200,000.

The district is in much better shape financially this year, Finnerty said, after spending cuts and other cost-saving measures last time.

“We are working very hard at SLCS to control costs in all areas in an effort to continue offering, and to enhance, the high-quality programs Schroon Lake is known for,” she said.

SWITCHED HEALTH PLANS

The tax levy increase in the budget for 2013-14 is 2.13 percent, with the amount raised by taxes rising to $6.1 million from $6 million, which is within the state’s cap formula of 2.97 percent for Schroon Lake.

The budget totals $7.4 million, up 2.17 percent over last year’s $7.24 million.

Schroon Lake teachers previously switched to the more affordable BOCES Plan B for medical insurance, Finnerty said.

“The district is beginning to see the financial benefits of all active district employees switching to Plan B health insurance. It’s anticipated that this change will provide significant savings to the district over time.”

The district is also getting a state-aid increase of about $173,000, she said.

The budget includes 2 percent contractual raises for teachers and support staff, but none for the superintendent or other administrators.

The budget vote will include one proposition to buy a new school bus for $73,800, although with trade-in the cost would be about $44,800, Finnerty said.

The budget hearing is at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in the school auditorium, with the vote from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, in the auditorium.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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