Press-Republican

Local News

May 12, 2013

Ti School budget cuts positions

School's proposed budget reduces staff, hours

TICONDEROGA — Balancing the new Ticonderoga Central School budget means cutting 11 jobs and reducing hours for 12 more.

Superintendent John McDonald Jr. said that to close a $540,000 gap and keep the 2013-14 budget under the state tax-levy cap, the district is eliminating full-time math, science, English and teacher-aide positions, plus part-time English and driver’s education teachers and 4.5 teaching assistants.

Also, if voters OK the spending plan, another 12 positions will be reduced to part time: business, art, foreign language, guidance, home and careers, music, technology, English and math instructors and a computer aide and social worker.

A retiring librarian would not be replaced.

The action means 11.6 full-time-equivalent positions would be cut. The district would drop from an instructional staff of 100 to 89.

ENROLLMENT DOWN

McDonald said teachers would now move from building to building for classes, so subjects are still covered.

Advanced Placement courses would still be offered, although art and music electives would be reduced.

“We’ve got to look at our staffing,” McDonald said. “We have declining enrollment.”

Ticonderoga has 840 students in grades kindergarten through 12, from 975 in 2008-09.

LEVY UP 3.78%

The 2013-14 budget has a tax levy of $10.7 million, a 3.78 percent increase from this year. The state formula allows the district to tax up to that 3.78 percent without requiring supermajority passage of the budget.

The full spending plans totals $18.5 million, a 3.7 percent increase over this school year.

The tentative tax rates are $10.15 per $1,000 of assessed value in the Ticonderoga part of the district, a 37-cent increase, and $12.20 in the Hague part, a 44-cent rise.

The superintendent said Ticonderoga got into the predicament because the district played by the state’s rules.

“We never exceeded a 4 percent fund balance prescribed by the (state) comptroller. As a result, we don’t have a cushion for these times.”

Health insurance is up 4 percent, about $150,000, under Plan A, McDonald said, which is only used by school retirees. Current employees are under Plan B, and that has no increase this year.

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