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April 8, 2010

CCS makes more cuts to lower tax levy


BY MICHELLE MILLER
STAFF WRITER

Last-minute changes have been made to the Cooperstown Central School proposed 2010-11 budget.

The Cooperstown Board of Education and administration have been plucking away at the district’s proposed spending plan in order to find additional savings.

School officials said a 7.2 percent tax levy increase is not realistic in today’s economic climate so more cuts will be made to the proposed budget to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

The goals, according to school officials, has been to maintain the strongest academic program, address declining enrollment and demonstrate an awareness of the district’s fiscal constraints.

The following additional adjustments have been made to the proposed spending plan:

Elimination of one additional elementary classroom position;

Elimination of one additional teacher’s aide position;

Adjustment to all salary lines;

Reduction of materials and supply purchases;

Reinstate JV field hockey team because of participation numbers;

and the inclusion of summer driver’s education as a cost-neutral program.

These changes bring the proposed budget total to $15,965,502, a decrease of 3.5 percent over the current year’s spending plan. This would generate a proposed average tax levy increase of 5.8 percent.

Past proposed adjustments that cover all aspects of district budgeting are:

Elimination of one elementary classroom position;

Elimination of one business education position;

Elimination of a vocal music position;

Reduction of a foreign language position;

Reduction of a technology education (industrial arts) position;

Elimination of two teacher’s aide positions;

Elimination of one monitor position;

Reduction of a clerical position;

Elimination of the high school ETC coordinator position;

Reduction of BOCES purchased services;

Elimination of JV levels for baseball, field hockey and football

Reduction of co-coaching positions for modified basketball;

Elimination of the assistant modified wrestling coach and volleyball scorekeeper;

Reduction of co-advisors in a series of extracurricular offerings;

Reduction of the proposed bus purchase from two to one (which will be on a separate proposition);

and increase an English position to full time, and add a full-time educational technology specialist teaching position.

According to school officials, the district has encouraged public participation in the budget-planning process and have appreciated the efforts, comments and input from those who have attended public meetings or communicated their sentiments in writing The Cooperstown Board of Education was to host a “You Have Our Ear’’ meeting before its regular meeting on Wednesday night. The 2010-11 proposed budget was scheduled to be adopted during the board meeting.

A public hearing will take place on May 5 and members of the community will have the chance to vote on Tuesday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Sterling Auditorium.