School budgets up for vote Tuesday

CHENANGO COUNTY – Voters across Chenango County and the state will head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots on proposed 2008-2009 school budgets developed by local districts.

Many district administrators blame high fuel and insurance costs for budget increases this year.

Here’s a glance at local school budgets:

• Afton Central Schools voters will decide on a $14,108,903 spending plan for next year. That represents a 3.84 percent tax levy increase.

Overall, it’s a $628,813, or 4.66 percent increase over the 2007-08 budget.

School Board members and Superintendent Elizabeth Briggs say they “worked hard” to keep the budget below the cost of living index, which is 3.98 percent.

There will be cuts in some areas, including elementary summer school, travel/conferences, four aid positions, athletics, and some equipment and supplies.

There is one proposition on the ballot to purchase a 27-passenger bus with wheelchair capability at an amount not to exceed $96,000. State transportation aid will reimburse the school for 90 percent of the cost.

• Bainbridge-Guilford Central Schools is presenting a budget of $16,501,488 for 2008-09. That represents a 5.5 percent budget increase and a 1.9 percent tax levy increase.

The budget allows the district to continue present programs and adds one Math/Computer Technology teacher, Superintendent Karl Brown said, adding that there is funding to cover increasing special education enrollments and contractual obligations for faculty and staff.

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