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Canastota: School taxes increase

Campanaro: Proposed budget 'fiscally prudent'

The Canastota School Board adopted its 2007-2008 budget of $22,438,813, an increase in taxes of 3.84 percent.

At the board meeting April 10 Trustee Don Campanaro said that although the budget process is tough every year, the administration did a wonderful job and he publicly thanked all who contributed.

Campanaro felt the increase of 3.84 percent was "fiscally prudent."

"If you look at the Consumer Price Index that the state uses it's exactly 3.8 [percent] and that's one indication that our spending is in line with inflation."

Campanaro said that tax payers owning a $100,000 assessment are looking at an $87 increase on their tax bill this year.

The budget proposes adding six-and-half new positions including a second and third grade teacher.

Campanaro said they also looked at class sizes, which are up to 25 and 26 and said the board would like to see class sizes at 20 and can help do this by adding the two new positions.

He said the state requires the district to employee a half of special education teacher and an internal auditor. The budget also proposes adding two place holder positions, which will be based on need and space availability.

"We are still looking at the areas where we have space available; possibly a new pre-k reading teacher at the junior-senior high level and an AIS math teacher," Campanaro said.

Another proposed area of expansion is technology.

"The budget represents what is fiscally responsible to the district and funding where there's need," Campanaro said. "We very much propose that we adopt this budget."

Superintendent of Schools Fred Bragan said the board is "very, very concerned with space constraints," but the board looks at the needs of the students first. He said the budget was "good and affordable."

The district will vote on the new budget May 16.

In other business:

Bragan said Assemblyman Bill Magee secured a $15,000 grant for Future Farmers of America students to purchase a new greenhouse.

Bragan read a letter from Madison County Sheriff Ronald Cary thanking the district for helping transport prisoners from the county jail on March 12, the day of the train derailment. Cary said transportation Supervisor Carl Judd and staff were professional at all times.

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