Mayfield school board votes to raise taxes, cut staff to balance budget

The Mayfield Board of Education voted Monday to abolish the equivalent of six full-time positions as

The Mayfield Board of Education voted Monday to abolish the equivalent of six full-time positions as part of an effort to close a $2.1 million budget gap. Monday’s cuts follow elimination of four positions last week.

Because of some teachers shifting to part-time status, some shuffling of teachers between grade levels, and five teacher retirements, only three layoffs will be needed to cut the 10 positions: two elementary-level special education teachers and one high school English teacher.

Superintendent Paul Williamsen said after eliminating the 10 positions, subtracting funding for other cuts being made, and increasing the property tax levy by 3 percent to 4 percent, the Mayfield Central School District is within $60,000 of a balanced budget for the 2010-11 school year.

The bulk of the district’s budget gap can be attributed to a $1 million — 11.81 percent — state aid cut proposed by Gov. David Paterson, plus contractual increases in teacher salaries and benefits. Prior to eliminating the positions Monday, the district had proposed a one-year wage freeze expected to save $380,000 and with it some teaching jobs, but the teachers union rejected the idea. Williamsen said although it’s unfortunate to lay off any employees, the district has some room to trim staff because Mayfield’s student population has declined by 50 students over the last three years.

“We’re set to lose another 16 next year, so that’s 66 over four years,” he said.

The positions cut Monday include a secondary math teacher, a secondary English teacher, one K-12 music teacher, a school psychologist and one teacher aide. Two high school teaching positions, one social studies and the other business, will each be cut to half-time.

The elimination of the English teaching position was the result of the district’s decision to end its General Equivalency Degree program; the teacher who operated it has civil service seniority bumping rights over the English teacher laid off.

No students were scheduled to be enrolled in the GED program for 2010-11.

The school psychologist and teacher aide positions will be vacated at the end of the year after retirements. The music teacher and the secondary math teacher whose jobs were cut will both be moved to the elementary level to help fill vacancies created there by the retirement of three fifth-grade teachers.

The Mayfield Board of Education is scheduled to meet again at 7 p.m. April 20 on the second floor of the high school library.

Mayfield’s public budget hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the same location May 11.

Categories: Schenectady County

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