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$86 Million School Budget Passes With 1.9% Tax Increase

The $86 million 2012-2013 school budget increases teachers and staff while cutting in-house custodial workers

unanimously approved an $86 million 2012-2013 school budget Wednesday that includes a 1.9 percent tax increase.

"We’re looking at one of the best, most advantageous tax impacts to this community that we’ve had in a long, long time," superintendent Bruce Watson said. "We have a monthly tax increase of only $9 to the average assessed homeowner. It’s the lowest it’s been in probably 20 years."

The adopted budget includes 11 new teacher and staff hires in areas of need throughout the district, but also calls for the reduction via outsourcing of between nine and 12 custodial workers.

"These are the things today that we're going to have to do to bring our costs down and put the money over in the education side," Watson said, explaining the custodial cuts.

Last year, to perform nighttime custodial duties in both of the district's middle schools at a cost savings of $230,000.

"Not only did we realize [the expected cost savings]," Watson said, "but our buildings were cleaner."

This year -- with the exception of a district-employed head custodian at each building -- contractors will replace all custodial staff at both midde schools and the high school. Savings are estimated at $450,000. 

Board member Mary Wallace said she opposed the privatization of the custodians, but reiterated that it would not stop her from supporting the budget as a whole.

The district's 11 new hires include two Spanish teachers, a speech teacher, an art teacher, a physical education/health teacher, a resource center teacher, an ESL teacher, an elementary teacher, a remedial kindergarten teacher, a social worker and a psychologist.

"There's a host of reasons why we're adding staff," Watson said, citing an increase in the number of students with socialization issues and an increase in students who are non-native speakers.

The additional kindergarten teacher will be tasked with heading up initiative for children who enter the school system behind their peers academically and need extra attention.

LENNY April 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM
thank you Rose for the information sounds like our board can be put in the same class of people who in DEC. 1941 where having a meeting in washigton dc to work out problems between their country and the untied states while their fleet was on the way to attack our fleet on DEC 7 1941. REAL CLASS ACT BY OUR BOARD AND LEADERSHIP. and to this day no one has been told sorry we had to cut your way to feed and support your family.
Jbj April 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I guess doctors goal should be to heal others for the rewards as well
Jbj April 22, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Children are not a part of the business world
Jbj April 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Thomas Paine...when was the last time you entered a classroom?
Jbj April 22, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Yes...who wants these people near our children? And who is. Heckling every time these is a custodian out and a sub comes in?

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