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April 1, 2010

Cuts likely at CV-S


BY MICHELLE MILLER
STAFF WRITER

Cherry Valley-Springfield Superintendent Robert Miller says he has been losing sleep during his time preparing for the 2010-11 school budget.

Miller says he could not have stepped into the role of Superintendent at a worse time. He says he is not just planning for next year, but is trying to look down the road toward the following year as well.

``There is a really scary forecast,’’ he says.

According to a presentation Miller made at the district’s last board of education meeting, the total proposed budget is $11,681,346. Miller said district residents can expect to see a 2.9 percent increase in the tax levy for the 2010-11 school year. This is equivalent to an approximately $29 increase for a taxpayer who owns a house worth $100,000.

Miller says the district is anticipating the retirement of four teachers and one licensed teacher assistant. He says there is a plan to make reductions in staff. Miller’s proposal, shows a reduction in speech by .2, music by .4, guidance by .9, library by .3, an assistant principal by .5, home economics by .5, a business official by .5, an elimination of a physical education teacher and licensed teacher assistant, and two aids. The proposal also unveiled a reduction of a bus route.

Miller says the district has 57 licensed teacher assistants and hopes to have that number down to 52 in a few years.

Cutting is not a fun task, says Miller, However, he says when the district is getting smaller and the aid is being cut there is no choice but to make some changes and adjustments.

Miller says his goal is to plan, reflect, adjust, innovate, economize and improve. He says it’s time to think outside the box and be creative.

Shared services are a part of Miller’s proposal. Miller says CV-S can share a distance learning business program with its neighboring school district Sharon Springs in order to replace the current BOCES program being used.

He suggests that CV-S also share computer services with Sharon Springs, teaching services with Sharon Springs and Richfield Springs and speech services for preschool students with Otsego County. Another avenue Miller says he would like to further investigate is the idea of virtual classes.

Members of the board of education plan to adopt the proposed budget tonight at its 7 p.m. meeting held in room 145. The district plans to mail information to the public in mid April. A public hearing will be held in the school building on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. A budget vote and election of members of the board of education will be held on Tuesday, May 18 in the school between the hours of noon and 8 p.m.

A copy of the proposed budget and the tax exemption report may be obtained by any resident of the district at the District Office during the 14 days immediately preceding the vote, except Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Petitions nominating candidates for the office of member of the board of education must be filed with the district clerk at the District Office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. no later than April 19. An application for absentee ballots may be obtained at the District Office.