Residents of the Gloversville Enlarged School District will get to vote next month on a $52.7 million 2011-12 budget proposal imposing a tax increase of about 2.9 percent.
The spending plan adopted Monday by the Board of Education increases spending about $2 million over the current year’s $50.69 million budget. It was balanced with the help of up to 12 anticipated teacher retirements, 13 layoffs, the use of $1.2 million from the district fund surplus, bus stop consolidations in the city and employee contract concessions — some already offered and others to be negotiated in coming months.
Superintendent Robert DeLilli said budget decisions made Monday night will preserve most of the jobs originally targeted for elimination, but three teaching and 10 teaching assistant positions will still be eliminated.
A promising development, he said, is that individual staff members, responding after their unions declined this month to make the concession, have been streaming into the district office daily to offer to change their health insurance coverage to a less expensive policy.
The development, DeLilli said, has led to contract negotiations reopening with the seven of the eight bargaining units that refused the insurance switch from PPO plan A to PPO plan B. If all of the district’s 500-plus employees made the switch, it would save a projected $1 million. The 25-member teaching assistants’ union was the sole bargaining unit to offer that concession when the board requested it in March.
Now, DeLilli said, he is optimistic that the other unions will agree to the switch.
Teacher retirements rose to a possible 12 after the board waived the Feb. 1 filing deadline and moved it to May 1, DeLilli said. Retirements may now save about $500,000, he said.
The elimination of 10 teacher assistants and that union’s agreement to freeze wages and change insurance plans will save an estimated $300,000, DeLilli said, while bus stop consolidations and changes in transportation schedules for modified sports will save an estimated $150,000 to $200,000.
Appropriating $1.2 million from the district surplus to use as revenue in the new budget is not expected to deplete that reserve fund, he said. As of the close of the last school year, he said, the fund grew to between $1.5 million and $1.8 million. When the books are closed on the current school year on June 30, he said, the fund should contain at least $1.5 million.
In a district news release, DeLilli said: “It’s been a difficult process, but we have tried to remain focused on maintaining our programs to the best of our ability.”
The annual budget vote and election, in which voters will also consider filling three board vacancies, will be held May 17.
A public hearing on the budget proposal will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. May 3 in the middle school auditorium.
The current tax rate in the city of Gloversville is $19.67 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The tax rate increase under the proposed budget has yet to be calculated.
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Categories: Schenectady County