Instructional costs expected to rise in Salamanca - The Buffalo News
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Instructional costs expected to rise in Salamanca

SALAMANCA – An “educated guess” is that the cost of the instructional portion of the 2014-15 Salamanca City Central School District budget may be about $13.18 million – a 6.77 percent increase over this year’s instructional budget of $12.34 million, school officials say.

“This is the meat and potatoes of the budget, the largest portion,” said Karen Magara, the district’s business executive.

Instructional costs for a district include such items as salaries and benefits for teachers and assistants, curriculum, administration, professional development, tuition, library, audio and visual needs, counselors, social workers, psychologists and even athletics.

Magara said the figures are just estimates, because a lot of variables still exist, such as state financial aid to schools and BOCES contract costs. In fact, the district will be in negotiations with all four of its labor unions at the end of the current year.

A few new items have been proposed for the 2014-15 school year, according to Superintendent Robert Breidenstein. Those items include professional development, increased tutoring, a staff and faculty “TecKnowledgy Camp,” iPad purchases for freshmen, textbooks and increased costs at BOCES. In addition, staffing will be changed to include a behavioral specialist, a math specialist for Prospect Elementary School and two elementary teachers.

The level of professional development is being evaluated, according to Breidenstein.

Items like the math specialist at Prospect Elementary are contingent on a proposed evaluation of a single-campus district for the school that is being investigated.

The addition of two elementary teachers may come at no additional cost, because it is anticipated that two teachers will retire, allowing the reallocation of funds.

The retirements will not be confirmed until the filing date of March 1 for those looking to retire.

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