North Syracuse BOE proposes 103 job cuts, 5.3 percent tax increase

North Syracuse Central School District announced a 5.3 percent tax increase and 103 position cuts during a board of education special budget presentation held March 14 in the auditorium of the junior high.

Wayne Bleau, assistant superintendent for management, led the audience of parents, students and teachers through the district's 2011-2012 preliminary budget.

He stated that because of the $9,097,857 reduction in state aid, the district struggled to make adjustments to accommodate the $134,070,072 proposed budget.

The 103 job cuts include 65 teaching positions: 30 at the elementary level, 23.1 in grades 7 through 12, and 11.9 full-time art/music/physical education teachers. Other position eliminations included 3.5 administrators, 33.6 support staff and a programming position. These cuts would save the district over $7 million in salary and benefit costs, but increase class sizes.

Other cuts included a 15 percent decrease each in athletic and extracurricular funding across the district.

The proposed budget would mean a 5.3 percent tax increase for district residents, which translates into an additional $115 in taxes on a $100,000 home in the towns of Salina, Clay and Cicero.

"One of the things that I think we need to do as a community is to decide how much we value our education in the North Syracuse school district and how much we are willing to pay for it," said Board President Pat Carbone.

The next board of education meeting will take place at 7 p.m. March 21 in the auditorium of the North Syracuse Junior High School.

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