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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

NNCS budget draft calls for position reductions


NORFOLK - The fourth draft of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School’s 2012-13 budget calls for the reduction of four teachers and two teaching assistants and would reduce principal positions from 12 to 11 months.

Business Manager Lisa M. Mitras had also originally recommended reducing a .5 full-time equivalent guidance counselor, but she suggested that position be added back following the announcement of an unanticipated retirement.

Under the draft Ms. Mitras presented to board of education members Tuesday night and based on recommendations they had discussed during their February meeting, the reductions would include two full-time equivalent teaching assistants, one full-time equivalent 7-12 math teacher, one full-time equivalent 7-12 social studies teacher, one full-time equivalent English teacher and one full-time equivalent K-6 teacher.

She also recommended that the principal positions be reduced from 12 to 11 months, and the expenditure change also included the retirement of one full-time equivalent operations and management director and a tentative contractual agreement with the district’s Civil Service Employees Association.

Those changes in salary and benefits would save $539,822, Ms. Mitras said.

At the same time, Ms. Mitras said, they would see an increase of $49,682 by using a facilities director service offered by the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services. She also penciled in a $119,041 increase in BOCES services covering tuition for students with disabilities; a $9,538 increase for utilities; a $2,663 increase in debt service; a reduction of $2,200 in equipment; and a reduction of $51,747 in other items such as contractual and supplies.

The total expenditure change, according to Ms. Mitras, was $412,845 in the fourth budget draft, giving them a projected expenditure budget of $19,390,0960.

Revenue changes included increases of $15,459 in tax levy money; $2,656 in Payments in Lieu of Taxes; $96,574 in building aid based on the governor’s current proposal; and $72,893 in transportation aid. The revenue update also calls for reductions of $6,917 in the district’s retirement contribution reserve and $1,745 in the workers compensation reserve, for a total revenue change of $182,411.

While the fourth draft of the budget originally contained a gap of $6,188, Ms. Mitras said they have now learned that a music teacher intends to retire this year.

“We thought it was going to happen next year,” she said.

That would be a savings of $65,400, she said. Subtracting their previous $6,188 gap from that, they ended up with a surplus of $59,212.

Ms. Mitras said her recommendation for the surplus money was to reinstate the .5 guidance reduction, which would cost $37,130. She also recommended reducing a .4 full-time equivalent BOCES counselor and increasing the budget for BOCES tuition to cover anticipated increases in students with disabilities. That would take their surplus/gap down to zero.

“By 2012-13, our special education tuition costs are projected to increase nearly 100 percent over the 2010-11 actual expense,” she said.

The district’s budget proposal originally started with a $1,901,417 gap, which was later reduced to $712,692 by adding in the use of money from the employee retirement reserve, unemployment reserve and worker’s compensation reserve, as well as $465,279 in fund balance.

The third budget draft, prepared after district officials had received solid numbers in some expenses, dropped to $601,037.

The board of education must approve the budget during their April 16 meeting. The budget hearing will be held on May 8, and voters will head to the polls on May 15.

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