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School budgets, propositions to go before voters

An increase in the tax levy - the amount to be raised by taxes - over the current amount by $2 million. The budget also results in an increase in the tax rate by $1.38 per $1,000 of assessed property value, with the new rate being $16.84 per thousand.

Superintendent John Fairchild said a cut in state aid amounted to approximately $880,000, leading the board of education to look for ways to offset the lack of revenue.

"Our first goal was to find a way to maintain student programs with minimal impact on staffing," stated Fairchild. "Through a careful review of the prior budget, we identified savings that amounted to over $300,000 that would not affect staff or programs."

The board decided to increase the amount of unappropriated fund balance to be used in the budget to $950,000. In addition, approximately $88,000 of state aid cut was reinstated.

"These actions, combined with the Chazy Teachers Association and all administration agreeing to a pay freeze, allowed us to meet our first goal," Fairchild said. "Ongoing negotiations with Civil Service Employee Association members may lead to additional savings for next year."

"Without the concessions from the Chazy Teachers Association up to 17 faculty members could have been reduced by one class each," added Fairchild. "This would be the equivalent of three full-time positions. The reduction in courses taught was proposed as a way to reduce costs more equally and to keep program offerings close to this year's offerings."

No student programs were reduced and no faculty positions were reduced due to the budget. A full time and a part time position that were grant funded for this year were eliminated.

"As a new superintendent, I was aware that the economic climate in our nation and state would make developing a budget a considerable challenge," Fairchild stated. "I just wasn't aware of how difficult it actually would be this year."

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