Press-Republican

Education

May 4, 2014

Budget expands offerings for BCSD students

BEEKMANTOWN — Beekmantown Central School’s 2014-15 budget proposal expands offerings for students and stays within the district’s minimal tax-levy limit.

The $38,972,430 budget, which was adopted at a recent School Board meeting, is up 3.53 percent from this year’s spending plan and carries a tax-levy increase at the district’s state-allowed limit of 0.77 percent.

Due to growth in the tax base, the district expects a slight decrease in its 2014-15 tax rate, according to Beekmantown Central Superintendent Dan Mannix.

MORE STATE AID

The school anticipates receiving a $1.1 million increase in state aid in the upcoming academic year, which is nearly $500,000 more than was forecast in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget.

That, combined with a number of cost-saving measures taken throughout 2013-14, including the negotiated switch of Beekmantown Teachers and Support Staff unions to Plan B health insurance, has allowed the district to bolster its offerings.

“We have a number of factors that are really lining up in the positive direction,” Mannix said at the meeting.

ADDITIONS

The budget adds:

• 2.1 teaching positions to increase foreign-language offerings in the middle and high schools, assist with Middle and Elementary school art instruction and allow for upper-level science courses.

• A part-time school safety officer, to be shared with Saranac Central School.

• A per-diem nurse for student safety.

• A crisis counselor to assist with students with disabilities, as well as administrative duties.

• Two teachers to accommodate the need for two additional class sections at the elementary level.

LEARNING CENTER

The district also proposes establishing a learning center for High School students and hiring two part-time monitors to free up teaching staff for it.

The budget includes new funding for Beekmantown Central’s work readiness credentials program, academic interventions in the middle and elementary schools, professional development, curriculum enhancements related to the state-mandated Common Core standards, technology equipment, updates to the Community Fitness Center and equipment for the Transportation and Buildings and Grounds departments.

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