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Frontier Central to add staff next year, depending on state aid

Frontier Central wants to restore 11.4 full-time staffing positions next year, including four positions that might be needed for bigger enrollment.

But those four positions depend on the district getting a little bit more state aid than the governor proposed. And if the district gets less aid than expected, those positions would be reduced. The positions are to be placed in the budget for contingencies, such as an increase in enrollment in kindergarten or an increase in the number of students who are learning English as a New Language.

"The state budget has a big impact on us. A big chunk of our revenue comes from the state," Superintendent Bret Apthorpe said.

The district also is looking to restore "strategic positions" that will help with student achievement. They include 2.2 teaching positions, 1 psychologist, three occupational/physical therapists and 1.2 support staff such as a library clerk and lifeguard.

Some key changes in the budget include an increase in health insurance of nearly $1 million, but a savings of almost $500,000 in state retirement contributions and a reduction in fuel costs of $164,000.

Taxes would go up 2.43 percent for Frontier Central property owners, under the proposed 2017-18 budget. The $38.72 million tax levy is within the tax cap.

The $84.17 million proposed budget is up 7.09 percent, but nearly 5 percent of the increase includes $3.4 million for the capital project that is funded by the use of reserves for the 2018 capital project. The $24.4 million capital project includes renovations, upgrades and site work improvements at various district facilities.

Several board members said it was a good budget. The board plans to vote on it at its next meeting April 18.

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