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Budget Talks: Royalton-Hartland

The Royalton-Hartland School District plans to slightly increase staffing and launch an agricultural education program – at no additional cost to taxpayers – if voters agree to its proposed 2016-17 budget.

Superintendent Roger Klatt said that while the proposed $23.9 million budget includes a nearly 5 percent hike in spending, the tax levy will remain the same as the current year’s – balanced by the district’s planned use of some of its fund balance.

Klatt said two part-time staff positions would become full-time in 2016-17, some modified sports would be reinstated, and the district intends to start an agricultural education program in the high school under the proposed spending plan.

He also said the Roy-Hart and Barker districts voted last week to continue their shared services program, which includes: sharing Klatt as superintendent of both districts for the fourth year; sharing a director of technology for the third year; and sharing football and wrestling programs, as well as transportation whenever possible.

Roy-Hart’s current enrollment is 1,400, while Barker’s is 778.

Proposed budget

Proposed total budget: $23,911,667, up 4.7 percent

Proposed tax levy: $9,841,700, remains the same

Tax levy increase allowed under cap: 1.28 percent

Planning to go over tax cap: No.

What could be cut: If the budget did not pass, Klatt said the district would revisit the line budget expenditures and see where additional dollars could be saved.

What could be added: The district plans to reinstate some modified sports; increase staffing by turning a part-time librarian and part-time technology teacher into full-time positions; and start an agricultural education program with 3 new classes.

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Voters go to the polls May 17 to approve or reject the budget and also vote on the propositions and candidates for School Board.

– Teresa Sharp, Niagara correspondent