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Board adopts $145 million budget that adds teachers, expands programs

The Williamsville School Board this week adopted a $145.26 million budget that increases spending 4.42 percent.

District officials trimmed about $240,000 from an earlier draft to arrive at the final budget figure. The savings came through additional teacher retirements, according to Assistant Superintendent Thomas Maturski.

Key features of the budget remain intact, including the addition of two business teachers, which will allow for keyboarding to be taught to all fifth-graders; a modified football coach, which will enable each middle school to field its own team; and two school counselors, one each for Mill Middle and Williamsville North High School.

An earlier draft of the budget included a 4.4 increase in the total amount the district will raise in taxes. State aid figures came in higher than projected, at $1.1 million more than the current year. The additional aid will be used to reduce the tax levy, which now reflects a 3.06 percent increase over the current year.

Because of a growth in total assessments, the tax rate will increase less than one percent, to $19.61 per $1,000 of assessed value.

A budget hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 3 in the district office boardroom, 105 Casey Road, East Amherst, followed by a School Board candidates forum sponsored by the PTSA at 7:30 p.m.

Four people are running for three board positions: incumbents Carolyn Giambra and Ramona Popowich, and challengers Dawn Cerra and Carrie Kahn. School Board Member Khalid J. Qazi did not seek re-election.

e-mail: mpasciak@buffnews.com

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