The 923-student Hadley-Luzerne Central School District has been hit particularly hard by reductions in state aid, proposing a 2010 budget of $19.8 million, a six percent spending increase from this year’s budget.
The new budget also includes a 25.29 percent tax levy increase.
Kathleen DuBois, district business manager, said over the past two years the district has been very conservative in its budgeting practices so that it could keep tax rate increases at a minimum.
“Last year’s budget was lower that the previous year,” DuBois said.
“But the cut in state aid was devastating,” she said about the proposed 2010-11 budget.
She said the district expects a $831,407 reduction in state aid as well as increased retirement system costs and health insurance costs.
The board of education has approved the elimination of 11 teaching positions and four support staff positions.
Well over 100 district residents have attended some budget meetings this spring, shocked to think their taxes will increase more than 25 percent in the new budget. The district includes parts of six towns in two counties.
In Hadley, for example, the tax rate is expected to jump from $11.74 per $1,000 this school year to $14.71 per $1,000 in 2010-11.
DuBois said other staff positions have also been reduced, including summer cleaning personnel. The district’s deputy treasurer position has been changed to part-time so the person can also serve in the district transportation office part time.
“It’s a tough year for the residents,” DuBois said.
“But I have to lay the blame at the door of the state in Albany, they are failing us,” she said. He referred to cuts in state education aid seen across New York.
However, district officials noted that since the 2003-04 school year taxes have declined until next year. In the 2003-04 school year the average tax rate in the district, based on equalization rates, was $15.57 per $1,000. By this school year, this true tax rate had dropped to $8.46 per $1,000.
This average, or true tax rate, is expected to be $10.60 per $1,000 in the 2010-11 school year.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
District residents will also be asked to elect two people to two, three-year terms on the Board of Education. The seats are currently held by Juliet Alrich and Richard Collins.
The five candidates seeking the seats include Collins, Duane Moulton, Vance Plante, Thomas Russell and Xanath Bailey.
Voters will also be asked to consider several spending resolutions including the purchase of one, 66-passenger school bus at $99,820, the purchase of two mini vans at a total cost of $40,000 and the purchase of a plow truck with sander at a cost of $30,000.
The voters will also be asked to decide if all students should be transported by bus to school or that those students living within one-half mile of the school should not be bused to school.
How to vote
WHEN: Tuesday, May 18, from noon until 8 p.m.
WHERE: Hadley-Luzerne High School, George Doherty Gym lobby at 273 Lake Ave., Lake Luzerne.
WHO: Qualified voters in the school district, which is located in Saratoga and Warren counties.
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Categories: Schenectady County