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Proposed 2012-13 budget cuts 9 teaching positions School Board approves $19.8 million plan that authorizes tax increase of 2 percent

Deep cuts in the Silver Creek School District budget were outlined Monday night by interim School Superintendent David Kurzawa with Business Administrator Cindy Mackowiak.

They made the presentation to about 25 people in Hanover Town Hall.

The $19.8 million spending plan calls for cuts to nine teaching positions and 2.5 support positions. The plan, approved by School Board members, would authorize a tax increase of 2 percent.

Kurzawa said the cuts do not include any positions where staff is retiring. The overall cuts in the program portion of the budget account for $396,831 in reductions.

The district budget was cut by almost $1.7 million from its original proposal.

"We are a people-driven budget, so when we make cuts people are affected," Kurzawa said.

Some of those who attended the session asked about residency requirements for teachers and administrators. Kurzawa said there is not a requirement and he did not know if one could be enforced.

"We can certainly encourage newly hired teachers to look for housing in the district," he said. He said it would be a consideration for a new superintendent.

The district is currently in the process of searching for a superintendent. David O'Rourke left the district in January. The search committee is expected to begin supplying names of potential candidates to the School Board this week.

The proposed budget also stays within the 2 percent property tax cap imposed by the state.

According to Kurzawa, the cap allows for an increase of about $108,000 if property values remain the same. A home assessed for $100,000 in Silver Creek would pay $35 more on the total tax bill under the cap.

State aid makes up about two-thirds of the school's revenues. The estimated state aid for 2012-13 is $11.9 million.

Some of the significant increases in the budget include $128,020 toward pension benefits, up more than 10 percent; and health insurance, up $169,592, or by 8.2 percent.

The proposed budget maintains technology replacement and programming, including electives at the high school level. High school summer education classes will be cut and a fee will be charged for driver's education.

Another presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Silver Creek Central School Auditorium.

District voters will have their say on the budget May 15.