Newcomb explores how to best serve students

NEWCOMB-Newcomb Central School (NCS) took a $120,000 hit to its annual state aid as a result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for next year. As a result, superintendent Skip Hults and the school board were forced to consider program cuts.

"We were definately hit hard," he said.

There was not a lot of leeway in the proposed 2011-2012 budget, according to Hults. Roughly 89 percent of the NCS budget is determined by contractual and state mandated inclusions, Hults said. He, therefore, has about 11 percent of the budget to work with in order to compensate for the loss in state aid.

Despite the need to make cuts, Hults wanted to keep the level of education provided for NCS students as close to the present standard as possible.

"We looked into program cuts that would least impact our students and their elvel of education," he said. "Cuts were made in areas that certainly enrich the school, but are not necessities toward providing a quality education."

Cuts were made to supplies, field trips, teacher and staff conferences, and equipment, according to Hults.

Between the first and third drafts of next year's proposed budget, the NCS board of education managed to remove $40,000. This change will bring a $5.1 million budget before the board for approval. This is an increase from last year's budget of $4.9 and includes the purchase of a new bus.

"We tried very hard to be sensitive to the community and the educational needs of the students when budgeting for next year," Hults said.

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