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Budget gets slimmed down, gains approval

The Akron Central School Board, after a joint meeting with the district's Budget Advisory Committee, adopted a $24.8 million budget Wednesday night for the 2006-07 school year, a decrease of $75,000 over the previous draft.

The superintendent and the School Board praised the committee, comprising administrators, community members, staff and teachers, which has met weekly to analyze district spending and examine data.

Committee goals were to develop an understanding of the school budget and financial operations, provide accurate information that could be widely shared with community members and review proposed budget data "in an effort to provide the best-quality educational services in a responsible and cost-effective manner."

There will be a public hearing May 9 on the proposed budget, which is up by $798,805 over this year's spending plan.

The annual election and vote will be held from noon to 9 p.m. May 16 in the Edward Allen Auditorium of the high school.

Residents interested in serving on the Board of Education can pick up petitions from the district clerk's office from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Petitions containing 25 signatures from registered voters must be turned in by 5 p.m. April 17 if candidates are to be placed on the ballot.

There will be two board seats up for election, those of incumbent board members Kevin Borchert and Paul Barone, the board's president.

In other matters, the board:

*Granted tenure to Danielle Class, who is provisionally certified in earth science and general science for grades 7-12.

*Agreed to extend a leave of absence without pay for Julie Matusek, a special-education teacher, for the remainder of the 2005-06 school year. She will return in September, officials said.

*Approved a leave of absence for Julie Gallagher and Mary Beth Matthews, both elementary school teachers. They will use accumulated sick time, officials said. Gallagher will return to her position in January; Matthews, in September.

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