Adirondack board of ed proposes cuts, school closing but no new taxes

Dave Gymburch
Staff writer
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Posted 4/30/19

BOONVILLE — No local property tax levy increase, along with layoffs of two elementary teachers and four part-time positions, are part of the Adirondack Central School District’s proposed $28.93 …

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Adirondack board of ed proposes cuts, school closing but no new taxes

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BOONVILLE — No local property tax levy increase, along with layoffs of two elementary teachers and four part-time positions, are part of the Adirondack Central School District’s proposed $28.93 million budget for 2019-20 according to Superintendent Edward Niznik.

The budget also proposes eliminating three positions through attrition and would be balanced with help from savings through the upcoming Forestport Elementary School closing that was approved April 4 by the Board of Education. It cuts no educational programs overall.

A public hearing on the proposed spending plan will be May 14 at 7 p.m. in the Adirondack High School cafeteria, Route 294 in Boonville.

The proposal, up about $580,000 from the current 2018-19 budget, was approved April 9 by the school board. It would take effect for the next school year that begins July 1, but is subject to district voters’ final approval in a May 21 election.

The school district had been facing a budget deficit of well over $600,000, said Niznik, but it was reduced through several modifications. In conjunction with other operational savings from the Forestport school closing which takes effect June 30, layoffs will include two elementary teachers plus a part-time physical education teacher, cleaner, secretary and food service helper respectively. The affected persons would be called back if another applicable position become available.

In addition, positions eliminated through attrition would be one elementary teacher, one cleaner and one teacher aide. While not directly associated with the Forestport school closing, the eliminations reduced the number of layoffs because of the closing, according to the school district. The reductions, coupled with additional state financial aid, helped to wipe out the budget deficit and kept the local tax levy increase at zero, Niznik said. He noted the Board of Education has “worked diligently the past several months to support educational programs for all of our students.”

Among the Adirondack district’s primary revenue sources for its budget are state aid of about $17.56 million, and the local property tax levy of about $9.92 million which reflects a zero percent increase.

Besides financial savings, the Forestport school’s closing was due to factors including overall declining enrollment in the district plus efforts to better balance class sizes.

Student enrollment in pre-K to grade 12 includes about 1,228 students. The district has about 261 employees. Its remaining elementary schools after the Forestport closing would be in Boonville and West Leyden, as pre-K to grade 5 facilities.

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