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Plattsburgh school officials make cuts, but seek to override tax cap

Projected tax-levy increase is 5.82 percent

“This is a reminder of where we have already been,” Short said. “It is an illustration of the whittling away of the high school you built.”

“We are sick and tired of all these reductions,” he said.

For the 2012-13 budget, the board faced a $1.7 million deficit if it opted to remain within the tax cap, putting programs and services at risk.

The adopted budget preserves pre-kindergarten, pre-engineering, Odyssey, music, full-day kindergarten and foreign languages.

Still, the spending plan the board approved eliminates two math teachers, two English teachers, one social studies teacher, one groundskeeper, one monitoring position, two clerical jobs, five teaching assistants, one custodian and assistant coaching positions for boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer. The cuts further impacted basketball, softball, baseball, field trips, gymnastics, modified-B volleyball and the high school’s after school program.

Plattsburgh school officials also plan to spend less on special education services, bringing many students back from Champlain Valley Educational Services.

But if 60 percent of voters do not vote for the budget on May 15, the district will have to make another round of cuts.

Board member Steven Sullivan was not present at the meeting, while Clayton Morris, Fred Wachtmeister and Tracy Rotz voted against the budget.

Morris and Wachtmeister favored saving even more programs, while Rotz felt more should be cut.

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