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Donation helps restore 2 positions in East Aurora Schools

Two job positions that appeared to be headed toward being cut by the East Aurora School District were restored Wednesday, thanks in part to a donation from the East Aurora Educational Foundation. The School Board unanimously adopted a $30.9 million budget for 2015-16. This will include a 2.56 percent tax levy increase.

As a result of a $36,000 donation from the foundation, money that was earmarked to help pay for new laptop computers for personnel throughout the district, will now be used to help restore a librarian position at Parkdale Elementary School, as well as the School Resource Officer.

Superintendent Brian D. Russ told the board the donation from the foundation will be used to pay for the first year of the lease of computers.

“(The foundation) really focused on the innovative things we’re doing,” Russ said, offering his gratitude to the foundation.

The superintendent asked board members at that point how they wanted to proceed with the additional $36,000 that was now available with the foundation paying the first year of the lease.

Every board member quickly agreed they wanted $30,000 of that money used to restore the librarian position.

Almost as quickly as that decision was made, the board then decided to use the other $6,000 for the resource officer, because Russ told the board that it had found funding for the other $26,000 needed to retain the position. This includes a combined $20,000 from the Town of Aurora and Village of East Aurora boards, as well as $6,000 from Erie 1 BOCES.

School Board President Marybeth Covert said she had been hearing rumblings about changes in the middle school rotations that she believes are “misperceptions.”

While she said there are reductions in areas such as art, music, home and careers, technology, health and physical education, all of those programs will be offered to students - in some form - throughout their years at the middle school.

“We’ve kept in place a piece of all of those areas,” Covert said, but added “it’s not going to be a 10-week rotation in all of those programs.”

Voters throughout the area will go to the polls to decide on the budget and trustee race on May 19. Covert, along with incumbent trustee Kimberly Danieu are each seeking to win re-election to the school board. They are being challenged by Douglas Crow and the winners of the two seats will win three-year terms on the board.