The roughly 10 teaching positions that were said to be saved from the Frontier Central School District’s budget chopping block are described as covering five areas of curriculum.
Myra Pinker, who serves as Frontier’s assistant superintendent for personnel, said the restorations, initially announced at last Tuesday’s (April 2) board meeting, include district teaching areas in special education, elementary education, physical education, social studies and business. The restorations were said to be made possible because of nine teaching retirements that are scheduled to take effect at the end of the 2011-12 school year, as well as through additional monies brought to the district through unanticipated state aid. District officials had also announced and approved at the April 2 meeting a new five-year collective bargaining agreement between the district and the Frontier Central Teachers Association, a contract described by union officials as containing several notable concessions made by the FCTA.
District officials had outlined at the board’s last few meetings a fiscal plan that would include about 60 district-wide cuts in the areas of teaching and staff, but put forward an updated plan at the April 2 meeting that includes 29.1 teaching positions that are slated to be cut, down from 40 originally proposed casualties.
Besides the five teaching areas receiving the roughly 10 restored positions, other saved spots include one full time equivalent position at the elementary level, described as a contingent position at a “hot spot” among needy grade levels, and for the Student Assistance In Learning Program, also at the elementary level. The latter position comes following several consecutive meetings, in which district residents spoke heavily in favor of keeping SAIL, which was described as an integral learning tool for a large number of students. Further restored was also a 0.4-equivalent reading position.
In addition to the notable teaching cuts at the teaching level for Frontier High and Middle schools and the district’s elementary schools of Big Tree, Blasdell, Cloverbank and Pinehurst, staff reductions include 6.5 teacher aide positions and 2.5 library clerk positions among the roughly 20 district cuts.
The Frontier Central School Board passed a proposed expenditure budget of $72,285,048 at the April 2 meeting, an amount that contains a tax rate increase of 2.19 percent and a tax levy hike of 2.70 percent. The tax rate amount is projected to be $24.47 per $1,000 of Town of Hamburg assessed property value, an increase of 52 cents from the 2011-12 rate of $23.95. Homes assessed at $100,000 will have a tax bill of $2,447.38 for 2012-13, a hike of $52.43. Comparably, homes assessed at $70,000 and $130,000 will have tax bills of $1,713.17 and $3,181.60 and annual increases of $36.70 and $68.16.
The district’s annual budget vote and school board member election is Tuesday, May 15. Board members who are up for election on their five-year seats include Board Vice President Stanley Figiel and Board President Michael Comerford. A “meet the (school board) candidates” night will occur at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 7 at the Frontier Educational Center board room, located at 5120 Orchard Ave., Hamburg.
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