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What you need to know for 01/17/2018

Revised Cobleskill-Richmondville school budget to include more cuts

Revised Cobleskill-Richmondville school budget to include more cuts

Administrators will be getting out the pruning shears to cut roughly $257,000 from the Cobleskill-Ri

Administrators will be getting out the pruning shears to cut roughly $257,000 from the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District’s budget proposal, which failed at the polls two weeks ago.

The district’s Board of Education last week instructed district administrators to hack the $35.28 million spending plan to conform with the state-imposed tax cap, meaning the 2012-13 budget would come with a tax levy increase of 2.72 percent, according to Superintendent Lynn Macan.

An exit survey conducted on the night of the vote provided important guidance towards the decision, Macan said.

About 75 percent of “no” voters polled said they would vote to approve a budget that met with the state’s taxing threshold.

“Economic times are hard here right now, with the flood and the unemployment rate,” Macan said.

A total of 317 voters agreed to take the exit poll out of 2,179 who voted, according to results of the poll posted on the district’s website.

Among those who said they voted to approve the budget, 62 polled said they did so “for kids.”

A total of 39 of those polled who said they voted “no” chose “taxes too high” for their reason on the exit poll.

The budget rejected by voters came with a tax levy increase of 4.54 percent, requiring a super majority approval — at least 60 percent of votes cast.

But the final tally was 981-1,198, not even a simple majority.

A new spending plan complying with the state’s tax cap will require only a simple majority vote for approval.

Macan said spending reductions could mean staff or student activities — or a combination of both — will be cut.

The budget proposal residents rejected sought to reverse some of the cuts the district made to draw up the current year’s budget, which included about 20 layoffs and cut programs like boys’ and girls’ tennis, varsity golf, bowling and the districtwide strings music program.

Now, those programs are back on the cutting board, and other potential cuts are being considered.

These include two full-time equivalent music positions, a full-time administrator, a library media specialist, business staffer and a maintenance staffer.

Administrators are being asked to come up with a modified budget in time for today’s Board of Education meeting.

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