Press-Republican

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May 12, 2013

NAC budget maintains programs despite cuts

ELLENBURG CORNERS — Northern Adirondack Central School’s proposed 2013-14 budget maintains all current programming despite calling for $500,000 in cuts. 

The plan would eliminate one special-education instructor and two elementary teachers.

NACS Superintendent Laura Marlow told the Press-Republican that special-education students would continue to receive quality services and that elementary class sizes would range from 15 to 19 students, which is below state averages. 

A physical-education/driver-education teacher and one French teacher would be reduced through attrition; those individuals would continue teaching driver education and French courses on a part-time basis, according to Marlow. 

In addition, one technology teaching position would be eliminated through attrition, but  technology classes would continue to be offered by existing, qualified staff, she said. 

CAPITAL PROJECT

While the board-approved spending plan totals $20,521,802, according to NACS Business Executive Brian Tousignant, $1,677,500 of that would be allocated for repayment of the district’s current capital project and would be entirely offset by state aid at no cost to taxpayers. 

The district’s proposed base budget, which excludes the amount earmarked for debt repayment, Tousignant noted, marks a 1.6 percent increase over the current year’s plan. 

TAX LEVY, RATE

The proposal also carries a tax-levy increase of 3.5 percent, well below NAC’s 7.88 percent limit. 

“This is really a positive budget,” said Marlow, who noted that the district’s projected 2013-14 tax rate is lower than that of 2006-07 by nearly $2.63. 

“We have the lowest tax rate of all school districts in Clinton County.” 

SECURITY UPGRADE

Also included in the spending plan is $100,000 to be used for additional security measures on campus, money that will be 90 percent aided by the State Education Department. 

In addition, the district intends to allocate $575,000 in fund balance for 2013-14. 

Northern Adirondack will hold a public budget hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the District Office conference room. 

The budget will go up for public vote on Tuesday, May 21.

BUS PURCHASES

On vote day, district residents will also consider a proposition to purchase two 66-passenger buses and one 24-passenger, wheelchair-accessible bus. 

The cost of $279,613 would be nearly 90 percent funded by state transportation aid over the next five years and would have no impact on the tax levy, Marlow said. 

Email Ashleigh Livingston:alivingston@pressrepublican.com

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