Straw polls were taken during the March 22 Board of Education meeting over the following categories: Keeping seventh grade foreign language, 4 - 4; Eliminating a principal on special assignment and replacing with one teacher on special assignment, 6 - 1- 1 in opposition; Universal busing services, 8 - 0 opposed; Beginning BOCES contract after eliminating Project Help, 5 opposed and 3 abstained. The meeting ran long because of crucial discussion, resulting in the board's 11:40 p.m. entrance to executive session.
The Board of Education met at 7 p.m. Monday March 29 for a special work session to further discuss last week's items and to revisit topics such as the technology plan, athletic reductions, maintenance overtime and personnel. More straw polls were taken, also. The board set the tax levy at 2.18 percent, which cannot be exceeded after property assessments are performed.
The board agreed to reduce its Tax Certiorari Fund by $500,000, which would be placed in the Fund Equity Balance, not to be appropriated for spending. Also, $700,000 was reduced from the technology plan with the board's intention to purchase in the first year rather than lease at a total of $1.24 million over four years. Within the last 30 minutes of the meeting, the board considered giving full authority to Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns and the district administrators to decide on how a remaining balance would be spent.
Items that were split in straw polls will not be moved forward to the April 5 budget. For example, the March 29 straw poll for restoring the seventh grade foreign language program, resulted in another stalemate at 4 - 4.
Ultimately, the board decided to reinstate approximately $371,000 back into the budget to regain spending authority for future years and include four more line items. The current budget is set at an estimated $130 million. Because this was a special work session, there was no public input. The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
The Board of education will meet for its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday April 5 at the District Office. At this time, the board will vote on the 2010-11school budget, which will then be placed on the ballot for the public's approval Tuesday May 18. Instead of voting line-by-line April 5, the board has agreed to make one vote on the entire proposed budget.