1.9 Percent Tax Levy Increase For B-G Taxpayers Despite Staff, Program Cuts

By: Melissa Stagnaro

BAINBRIDGE – Residents of the Bainbridge-Guilford Central School District will face an estimated 1.9 percent tax levy increase in the coming year, based on the tentative budget adopted by the district’s board of education last week. The increase is not due to an increase in spending, however, but rather to state aid cuts which are forcing local taxpayers to shoulder a larger portion of the cost to operate the district.

According to Superintendent Karl Brown, the proposed budget for the 2010-11 academic year totals $16,403,196; a 2.2 percent, or $365,443, decrease in spending compared to the current year’s spending plan.

Faced with state aid reduction to the tune of $837,350 – and recognizing that there is only so much local taxpayers can take – B-G’s school leaders have spent the last four months going through the budget line-by-line. In their efforts to close the gap between the district’s revenues and expenses, a number of staffing and program cuts were identified.

According to Brown, a total of six positions will be eliminated – two of them by attrition – and another two staff members re-assigned as a result of the staffing cuts.

“Four elementary teaching positions will be abolished due to class enrollment numbers,” he explained, and the positions of two retiring high school teachers will not be filled. Three other retirements – one elementary, one remedial reading and one high school – will be replaced, the superintendent said.

In addition, an elementary librarian and a part-time technology coordinator will be re-assigned to teaching positions.

The tentative budget also includes a number of program cuts, including the late bus run, field trips, summer music instruction, professional development and conferences for both teachers and administrators, and this year’s academic summer school. Modified wrestling will also be eliminated, he said, and Extended Day remediation will be reduced.

In addition, the district has budgeted for fewer GED and Career Academy BOCES placement slots. The superintendent assured that this would not affect any students currently enrolled in these programs.

“We budget for a number of placement slots and try to maintain extra to accommodate new students or changes in programming,” Brown explained. This year, however, those extra slots – four in the GED program and two in the Career Academy – have been eliminated.



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