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In Schroon Lake School board proposes cuts

But that was not enough, and the School Board is proposing major changes to personnel to help save money.

In 2011-12, the school would not fill three positions after retirements at the end of the current school year: a bus driver, a custodian and a secretary.

Additionally, three positions would be cut by 20 percent, or one day per week: an art teacher, the director of pupil personnel and an occupational therapist.

And three positions would be cut in half: the instrumental band teacher, the librarian, and the family and consumer sciences (home economics) teacher.

One retiring reading teacher's position will be filled, Blair said.

The Schroon Lake Teachers Association - led by President Laura Corey, who teaches social studies for grades 10-12 - opposes the staffing cuts.

"We can't afford these cuts," Corey said. "They do not allow us to provide a quality education. We only get one opportunity to provide a quality education for our students and this is not going to happen (with the staff cuts)."

Despite misgivings about the proposed budget, the Teachers Association is not asking residents to vote one way or another on May 17. Corey herself is still undecided.

"Either way, it's bad for the kids," she said.

In order to get spending down to a 1 percent increase while keeping the school operating, some staff cuts were inevitable, Blair said, adding that the school won't be able to offer all the same courses it offers now, but they will try to keep the cuts to about four classes.

"We're going to try to maximize the number of courses we can offer," Blair said.

No concessions were made by the Schroon Lake Teachers Association to ease the tax burden this year, as the contract talks between School Board and the Schroon Lake Teachers Association "didn't move forward," Blair said. Formal negotiations for next year's contract will begin on May 17. The contract expires June 30.

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