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SCHOOLS CONTINUE TO TRIM BUDGETS

SARANAC LAKE -While the Saranac Lake Central School District received some good news with the acceptance of a state budget, it will not be enough to stave off the elimination of 14 positions.

The district was informed that they get $154,000 in state aid back, superintendent Daniel Bower said that the school will use that to cut into the tax levy.

Meanwhile, the district is still looking at the elimination of 14 positions, six of which would be eliminated through retirements.

"That could still change, of course," said Bower. "There could be some give and take, but the cuts that we outlined in our proposal are still what we are looking at."

During a budget meeting last month, the school proposed the closure of Lake Colby, which would eliminate one full-time and two part-time positions. Other cuts included one language position, reducing the ESL position, one bus garage position, two clerical positions, one social studies position, Middle Summer School elimination, one library position and one special education teacher, along with not replacing several positions where staff are retiring.

"We are looking at right around one-half dozen actual layoffs," Bower said. "We will try to drop payroll through retiree's as much as possible."

Bower said that he was pleased that the state budget came in on-time, even if it meant there was not more debate and discussion about education funding.

"The upside is even if it is bad news, we know about it before we send a budget out for a vote," he said. "We got some good news, and we will be able to put the money back in to help lower the tax burden."

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