Proposed $9M Jay school budget to go to voters

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JAY — Voters will have a proposed $9 million, 2010-11 school budget to consider during a town-meeting style vote on Tuesday, June 1.

The yes-or-no validation on the overall budget will be held on Tuesday, June 8, in a referendum-style vote at the polls.

The School Committee voted Thursday to send the proposed budget, which reflects spending $689,548 less than the current budget, School Department Business Manager Stacie Lowe said Monday.

The budget proposed includes the equivalent of cutting 4.5 teaching positions, Superintendent Robert Wall said, among other reductions.

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“It is important to note that it is not the budget we would like to put forward to support the school but it is responsible,” Wall said. “It is not an optimum budget to support students but it is a good balance for students and the taxpayers.”

Aiding the budget proposal are two confirmed retirements and four pending retirements, Wall said.

Among the cuts the budget contains are eliminating a three-day-a-week art teaching position, a half-time social studies teaching position, a world-language teaching position, a business teaching position; a technology help desk position; a part-time technology integrator position, and a custodian bus/driver position. Sike McDonald, a custodian/bus driver, is among the confirmed retirements, Lowe said.

There are also a reduction in hours for several positions including education technician hours from six per day to five-and-a-half; and a technology repair position from eight hours to six hours.

The budget does sustain student activities but does not support away scrimmages and minimizes long distance traveling, Wall said.

The proposal also reflects a reduction in the amount budgeted for police coverage at athletic games.

According to the most recent state education finance figures, the district is estimated to receive $666,358.65 in education funding for next year’s budget, Lowe said. Of that amount, $479,221.50 is subsidy from federal stimulus money, she said.

The state’s contribution to the subsidy package is about $187,000, Lowe said.

The overall subsidy figure represents a loss of $502,630 in education subsidy to the school system from the current budget, she said.

Even though the proposed budget is nearly $700,000 less than the current $9.7 million, it still reflects a nearly $198,000 increase to the taxpayers, she said.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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