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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 25, 2010

No increase for VCSD budget

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — The district has kept the tax levy increase below three percent on a budget that has remained, essentially, flat.

With New York’s poor financial straits, the school district is expecting to lose about $681,000 in state aid for the 2010-11 budget, said the assistant superintendent for business, Sarita Winchell. 

The budget, which is proposed at $21,657,394, is .02 percent lower than this year’s budget, which is the same as the previous year’s.

Voorheesville recently refinanced a bond issue, which saved money, and locked in a 4-percent increase in the cost of health insurance for a large block of those who the district is obligated to insure, which cut down on the tax levy, she said.

Also, two teachers, one in the elementary school and one in the middle-high school, will retire and will not be replaced, Winchell said.  And the district is shedding part-time positions in math, because of a change in the delivery of Academic Intervention Services meant to help struggling students; in special education, due to a change in enrollment; and in occupational therapy, which is part of special education, also due to a change in enrollment.

The district will add a part-time position in the foreign language department, Winchell said.

Although the numbers fluctuate, there are fewer than 20 students who receive AIS, Winchell said, and the district was able to save money by changing the AIS schedule from operating during the school day to happening after school.  “This way will be more flexible,” she said.

“The state numbers just get worse and worse,” Winchell said.  So districts will have to get away from thinking that the state is going to bail out schools, “Because I don’t think they are,” she said.

Trimming next year’s budget was an effort on everyone’s part, Winchell stressed.  All district employees have been “looking under all the rocks,” she said, to find places where they could save money.

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