Board proposes $17.7M school budget

The Canajoharie Central School District will cut five positions for the coming school year under a $

The Canajoharie Central School District will cut five positions for the coming school year under a $17.7 million spending proposal headed to voters next month.

Rising fuel and energy costs and an increase in special-needs students are cited as unavoidable expenses requiring a 3 percent increase over the current $5.5 million tax levy, according to the district.

District voters barely approved the school budget last year in the face of a 5.9 percent tax hike necessary to repay money that the state errantly paid the district for construction projects.

The state began withholding portions of that money in 2004 and the balance is now repaid, school board Vice President Eric Trahan said Monday.

The state also underpaid the district $711,000 for a different part of the same construction project — and that money is expected next year, Trahan said.

The current year’s budget eliminated 10 positions from the year before, cutting one administrator, five teachers, two aides, one custodian and a bus driver.

The budget proposal for the 2008-09 year would cut two middle school positions. Next year’s middle school population is expected to be smaller than this year’s, according to the district.

Canajoharie has a “larger than normal” eighth-grade class which will move to the high school next year, and no new positions are required at the high school, according to the district.

The budget plan calls for eliminating three positions in the district business office with the use of a shared business office operated at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Educational Services for a savings of about $100,000 annually, according to the district.

Trahan said the three staff members leaving the Canajoharie school district will instead work for the BOCES business office.

School district property owners in the town of Canajoharie currently pay roughly $29.55 per $1,000 in property value, or $2,955 in school taxes annually. A 3 percent increase would add $89 to that bill, totaling about $3,044 per year.

Trahan said the district will likely schedule a public hearing on the spending plan for its May 8 meeting.

Categories: Schenectady County

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