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ELCS officials work to trim spending plan

Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School

Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Osborne also presented $142,500 in cuts that would affect staffing, resulting in the loss of 3.17 positions.

The cuts would result in a two-member reduction in staff, with one coming through attrition. Osborne said that position, which was in the elementary, would not be re-hired as the school would try a new approach with its sixth-grade class.

"We are looking at putting them on the bell rotation and making them a true part of the middle school," Osborne said. "Instead of having one dedicated teacher to sixth grade, they would be taught by several teachers and our middle/high school schedule would now be for students in grades 6-12 instead of starting at seventh grade."

Along with cuts, Osborne said that he and finance officer Cindy Moody had allocated $500,000 in fund balance to help cut into the gap.

"It is unfortunate that as a public school we have to take that much out of our reserves to pay for this budget," Osborne said. "Even thought the numbers have changed, that is still a very significant chunk for us."

Osborne said that if significant fund balance usage was needed, the school would be looking at using more fund balance than left in the account within two school years.

"I was prepared to come before this board and say that I found this much money and yet we are only halfway there," he said. "Luckily, we got some good news with the latest numbers. However, looking at our futures chart, the situation is grim. Around the 14-15, 15-16 school year, the board will have to have great discussions on how we are going to fund our schools."

Osborne said that he felt the cuts were made equally across different programs and departments.

"I can't find any positives to cutting our funding to our students’ education by $300,000, but if there is one positive it is that we did not single out one group," he said.

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