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Marcellus adopts $30 million budget

— The Marcellus Board of Education has adopted a $30,222,222 budget for the 2012-13 school year that will now be up to the voters to decide on May 15. Four board members voted in favor of adoption, while two were against, allowing the process to move forward.

“I would like to extend a big thank you to all involved in the process,” Superintendent Craig Tice said. “Everyone really rolled up their sleeves to get this done.”

Back in March, Tice send out 56 reduction-in-force letters letting employees know there were possible cuts looming, which had to be done per the labor contract between the employees and the district. Thanks to a retirement and some solid legwork by the board and others involved, the district was able to eliminate just 6.5 jobs, while 6 other positions were not filled. Board member David Kelly said the reasons for the cuts were due to declining enrollment.

The breakdown in job cuts is as follows: one full-time elementary branch teacher, 0.2 secondary English, 0.4 in secondary science, 0.2 in business, one K-12 art teacher – that’s the retirement – 2.4 special education (this is a direct correlation to declining enrollment. There is still one dual-certified educator left.), one from BOCES support and 0.3 in administrative cuts. This amounts to about $400,000 in staff cuts, Tice said.

Many factors came into play for the budget, Kelly said. Foundation aid from the state has been frozen at $7.9 million since the 2008-09 year, and this year’s total state aid was $11,597,000, which is down about $346,000 from last year.

The gap elimination, which takes away the amount of aid given from the state, was $2.144 million this year, and if the district didn’t have to deal with that, some of the positions cut could have been avoided. Kelly, though, wasn’t upset about it.

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