School budget approved with 2.98 percent tax levy increase

Short and Jay C. Lebrun, the district's assistant superintendent of business affairs, are also taking a self-imposed salary freeze, Short noted, adding the Plattsburgh Teachers Association followed suit with as well.

"The membership agreed to alter their contract," Short said, adding the district expects to see a $430,000 savings over the next two years. "And, it's money that never needs to be paid back or reinstated in any way. It definitely made a huge bit of the difference."

Short thanked the teachers for agreeing to the measure, which he said will help keep critical programs in place for the district's students.

"The teachers fully recognize that and they want to be part of the solution," Short said. "They live in the community, they're part of the community they have kids in our schools."

The budget will allow for the continuation of the elementary band and strings program, the Odyssey program for gifted and talented students, foreign language programs, full-day kindergarten classes and the district's pre-kindergarten program.

"Those are all ares that are not mandated, however, they're highly-prized and highly thought of within Plattsburgh," Short said.

Overall, Short said he's pleased with the budget.

"We do have a number of positions that are being reduced and cuts, but what we've presented is a budget for the community to vote on that still maintains programs that we have heard over the years are near and dear to their hearts," Short said.

The budget will go before voters Tuesday, May 17. If the budget is defeated, the district has two options - move forward with a contingency budget that consists of reductions in services or rework the current budget for voters to approve or reject. If rejected a second time, the board will put in place its contingency budget.

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