Voters approve budget

CROWN POINT - Voters adopted a 2010-11 budget in the Crown Point Central School District May 18.

Residents Oked a $6.2 million budget by a 135-30 count.

Elected to board of education seats were Kathy DebroBander with 123 votes, Mitch St. Pierre with 99 and Julie Budwick with 93. They ran unopposed.

"We are very thankful for our taxpayer support," Superintendent Shari Brannock said. "The tough decisions that were made in the past coupled with the concessions of raises last year and health insurance plans in the future have afforded our students a high quality educational program.

"The fiscal burden and responsibility has been shared and our TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) theme is evident in the community as well," she said.

The 2010-11 Crown Point Central School District budget is identical to the current spending plan, although taxes are expected to increase.

The tax hike is the result of a $237,000 loss in state aid and increased expenses.

The 2010-11 budget totals $6,279,131, exactly the same as the present spending plan.

The amount to the raised by taxes in the budget is $1,463,755, a 3.81 percent increase from the current tax levy.

A key to holding the line in the budget was benefit concessions by teachers. In a new contract the teachers, who took no pay increase this past year, will get raises of 2.95, 3.95 and 4.95 percent during the next years while agreeing to pay more for health insurance.

The health insurance concession will save the district more than $60,000 a year, Brannock said.

Non-instructional employees will get 4 percent raises in the new budget.

While the teacher concession helped, it wasn't enough to close the budget deficit. As a result 5 1/2 positions have been cut, the GED program has been eliminated, high school special education services have been slashed, a bus purchase has been postponed and material and supplies purchases have been limited.

The staff cuts include two teaching assistants and a cleaner. Special education and social students positions have been reduced to half time, a science job has been cut by a third and Spanish and guidance positions have been reduced by a fifth.

Principal Agatha Mace is retiring, Brannock noted, and it's uncertain how that post will be filled. In any event, there will be a savings to the district.

School office hours will also be cut to save money.

Brannock noted the proposed budget does not cut any student programs.

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