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DISTRICT WILL ADD SEVEN TEACHERS NEXT WEEK

Another seven new teachers will start work next week in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda schools as the district works to reduce class sizes in some of its elementary buildings.

Four of the teachers will be fully funded for the 1999-2000 school year by $153,195 in state aid money the district recently received as part of a state program designed to help schools meeting a certain poverty percentage lower their class sizes, officials said.

The other three new teachers will be funded by the district's own budget, officials said.

"It's a good thing for the district. We're getting four teachers at no cost to us," said Steven A. Achramovitch, assistant superintendent for personnel.

The seven new teachers -- who will be assigned to the Franklin, Hamilton, Holmes, Hoover and Roosevelt elementary buildings -- come on top of the equivalent of just over seven new positions the School Board created at a meeting earlier this month.

Achramovitch said that while the state aid designed for class size reduction will cover the salaries and benefits of four starting teachers for the new school year, it is unclear how long the special funding will be available, or whether the district's share of funding, which is calculated based on poverty percentages, will remain the same after the current year.

Achramovitch said the district does not plan to rely upon the aid, but rather is using it to relieve situations of classroom crowding. The goal of the aid money is to bring classrooms to less than 18 students each, he said.

"It's supposed to support your hiring, not supplant it," Achramovitch said.

Many of those new positions were intended to deal with class sizes creeping into the mid- to high-20s, board members said.

Of the new positions unanimously approved by the School Board this week, the teachers will be assigned as follows:

Franklin Elementary will receive one new kindergarten teacher, funded through the state aid.

Holmes will get two additional teachers, for first and fifth grades, funded through the state aid.

Roosevelt will see the return of one of the two teacher positions cut during a meeting earlier this month, funded under the state aid. A teacher mentor position will also be added at district expense.

Hamilton will receive two new district-funded teachers, in grades two and five.

Hoover will get one additional district-funded teacher for its second grade.

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