TICONDEROGA — The new Ticonderoga Central School budget stays at the state tax cap for the district.
After several budget workshops, the budget came in at a 1.38 percent tax-levy increase, Superintendent John McDonald said, which is the adjusted state cap for Ticonderoga.
The district is eliminating two teaching positions through retirements but adding an elementary teacher and a districtwide assistant principal to manage the new State Annual Professional Performance Reviews for teachers.
The amount raised by taxes in the proposed 2014-15 budget is $10.94 million, up $149,112 from this school year.
The total budget is $19.29 million, a 3.69 percent increase from 2013-14.
McDonald said the budget includes some classroom enclosures at the Elementary-Middle School for security purposes. The building currently has open classrooms without walls.
“We’ll do a couple (conversions) a year,” McDonald said.
State Teacher Retirement System costs went up 3 percent in the budget, McDonald said, and health insurance is also costing 3 percent more.
District employees, including instructional, support and administrative staff, all got 3 percent pay increases in the new budget.
All in all, it wasn’t as hard to meet the state cap this year as in the last few years, McDonald said.
“This year, it’s been entirely different. We had a small gap between the tax cap and spending that we had to reduce.”
The district got an additional $399,000 in state aid for next school year, including about $200,000 in gap-elimination aid, for total funding of $6.9 million.
The district has also increased the financial cushion of the fund balance from $140,121 to $272,387.
“We’re getting (financially) healthier,” McDonald said.
The new tax rate for the school is estimated at $10.26 per $1,000 of assessment for Ticonderoga, a 14-cent increase, and $12.34 for the Hague part of the district, a 17-cent rise.
The district has about 830 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade this year, which is expected to remain about the same for 2014-15.