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South Jefferson schools to discuss budget today

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ADAMS CENTER— The South Jefferson Central School District will hold a hearing as part of the Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Maynard P. Wilson Building, 13180 Route 11, to discuss the adopted budget. The plan features a 2 percent increase in the tax levy and the elimination of 11 full- and part-time positions.

The school board at its April meeting approved a $28,647,293 tentative budget for the 2012-13 school year, a 1.04 percent increase from the previous year’s $28,351,644 budget.

The levy will increase the maximum 2 percent, from $6,460,900 to $6,590,118.

Superintendent Jamie A. Moesel said the adopted budget was a “continuation of a difficult budget cycle” created through state budget cuts within the last three school years. She said the drop in revenue and funding has led to reductions in programs throughout the district.

“That’s very challenging,” Mrs. Moesel said.

The budget accounts for the dismissal of 11 employees, including six aides, two elementary instructors and a guidance counselor. Mrs. Moesel said the district has lost more than 55 employees since 2010.

The unrestricted fund balance is set to drop from $1,027,963 to $734,647, reducing it from 3.63 percent to 2.56 percent of the total budget.

Central administration salaries will drop from $170,891 to $170,740.

A vote on the budget is set for May 15. In addition to approving the budget, voters will decide who will take three school board seats up for election, including one vacancy. Incumbents Kenneth M. Bibbins and Brenda Shelmidine are joined by James S. Juczak on the ballot.

Also up for a vote is approval for the funding of two large-capacity school buses, which will cost $208,000.

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