Board Reduces the Number of Credits Required to Graduate
Change is part of a cost-saving measure by the Board of Education.
The Board of Education reduced the number of credits high school students need to graduate from 125 to 135 Monday.
Freshman seminar classes have been eliminated at both high schools. Students will instead take a half a yearlong finance course, as required by state law, and half of a year of study hall.
Those two changes are expected to save the district nearly $344,000 next school year.
Those are just some of the changes the board made to the district’s proposed 2012-2013 budget at a special meeting Monday. The board voted to cut more than $2.5 million out of the budget.
The proposed tax levy is now $127.3 million, more than $124,000 under the state-mandated 2-percent increase cap.
The school portion of the average taxpayer’s taxes will increase $127, including $2 for the district’s debt service. Debt service is a mortgage payment for the construction of Anthony Wayne Middle School.
Other changes include:
- The after-school supplemental program at five elementary schools is being eliminated.
- The kindergarten through fifth grade environmental program is being eliminated.
“You don’t want to cut anything and we had to look at what the impact was of making the cuts, but also the realization that we had to cut the budget,” board President Donald Pavlak Jr. previously said.
The board chose not to cut the high school hockey and gymnastics programs. The hockey program is one of the most expensive extra-curricular activities in the district.
The board will approve the final budget at a special meeting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal complex.
Business Administrator Juanita Petty said that money could still be moved around between line items after the budget is approved. Additional special education students could enroll during the school year or a new air conditioning or heating system could be needed in one of the schools.
“Nothing is carved in stone,” Petty said. “This is a prediction of how the money will be spent.”
The district will receive $3.8 million in state aid this year, nearly one-third more than it received last year.
The board has opted not to add an additional $1.7 million in banked cap funds to the budget. The town council cut $1.7 million from last year’s $126.6 million tax levy in May of last year after taxpayers voted it down in April.
The board will also not incorporate a $1.8 million increase in health care costs, which could have raised the budget even more.