March 28, 2006

Battling school budgets

A pair of articles in this morning's Ithaca Journal suggest that property tax payers will be facing a larger bill from schools soon. The Dryden School District is looking to further reduce a 12.87% tax levy increase in a budget that already cuts 14 positions:

Should the latest budget proposal be adopted, three teachers at the elementary school, two at the middle school and three at the high school would be lost, with varying impacts on program. Also cut would be three elementary school monitors and one teacher aide at both the middle school and high school.

For the high school, this would lead to an eventual phasing out of the French program and English class sizes would increase. The art and business programs could also see staffing affected.

In the middle school, students given in-school suspensions would end up in the principal's office rather than in a specialized classroom and the delivery of Academic Intervention Services would have to be adjusted. Case loads for special education teachers would also increase.

Assuming the cuts were approved, grades three through five would see larger classes, going generally from 18 or 20 students to 21 or 23.

Dryden schools are working with the budget numbers from the Governor's budget, which are likely lower than the final numbers will be, but this still sounds grim.

Ithaca Schools are looking at a less grim 5.4% tax levy increase, but are still trying to cut that budget further. Posted by simon at March 28, 2006 6:49 AM in , , ,
Note on photos


Mary Ann said:

Is the tax levy increase a function of rising assessment or tax rate increase? The link to the Dryden budget article is broken.

I've fixed the link.

The tax levy increase appears to be caused by the increase in fixed costs (fuel, energy, etc.) and the lower increase (2.2% in gov's budget) in state aid. The article doesn't get into assessments, but it doesn't sound like the board is yet at the point of considering their impact.