‘Who will bear the pain?’

KRISTEN TENNITY/THE EXPRESS School board members are seen during last night’s meeting at Central Mountain High School.

The Keystone Central School Board last night held a lengthy, wide-ranging and open discussion on the “(proposed) expenditure reductions” listed below in front of some 150 people in the Central Mountain High School auditorium.

One by one, the board addressed each proposal, noting the top three “add new CTE teacher(s)” for auto body, auto mechanics and cosmetology were put back in the budget for funding after they were initially cut.

The board entertained discussion from the entire audience, and many people spoke up to voice their opinions on the budget cuts.

Board member Wayne Koch put it best, “Which side will bear the pain … the taxpayers or the students? Either way, there’s going to be a lot of pain.”

The board also was asked to consider “the least effect on the kids” with each decision they make in trying to whittle down an estimated $7 million budget deficit.

While a preliminary budget was approved last night, still on the table is a possible voter referendum in May to ask voters to approve a significant, school property tax increase to avoid so many cuts, including teacher layoffs and program cuts.

The list you see is as it was presented.

The dollar figures after each expense cut represent the savings the district would glean if approved.

The preliminary budget takes into account the “items already removed from budget” list at bottom.

However, it does not include the “(proposed) expenditure reductions” list at top.

That means many more decisions are pending, board President Charles Rosamilia emphasized.

In fact, according to statements by the school board at last night’s meeting, unionized district teachers, along with unionized support staff and secretaries, plus instructional and non-instructional administrators whose benefits follow the teachers’ contract, are being asked to take a two-year pay freeze, and if they do, there’s a good possibility Dickey Elementary School will not have to be closed.

Through Rosamilia, the board did not want to elaborate on the pay freeze request to the unions because “it is under negotiation,” he said.

Another measure that unionized teachers also would have to decide is the 25 percent reduction in the stipend paid to coaches because those stipends are in the contract.

(Proposed) Expenditure Reductions

r Add new CTE teacher for auto body program and operating budget, ($93,000).

r Add new CTE teacher for auto mechanics program and operating budget, ($93,000).

r Add new CTE teacher for cosmetology program and operating budget ($93,000).

r Add new music teacher position ($88,000).

r Additional reduction to all operating budgets (Option B) $1 million.

r Additional reduction to elementary operating budgets (Option A), $24,650.

r Additional reduction to secondary operating budgets (Option A), $100,000.

r Additional athletic reductions, $40,000.

r Closure of Dickey Elementary School, $1.65 million.

r Curtailment of enrichment/IST elementary program, $176,000.

r Curtailment of library program and reduction of assistant, $289,000.

r Curtailment of physical education elementary program 1-time in 6-day rotation, $176,000.

r Districtwide pay freeze, $1.27 million.

r Elementary class size-multi-age classrooms, $1.93 million.

r Eliminate Pre-Kindergarten Program, $825,000.

r Freeze capital projects, $320,000.

r Reduction of Instructional Administrators: Director of Curriculum, Director of Career and Technical Education, Assistant Principal, $475,000.

r Reduction of Non-Instructional Administrators: Communications and Fundraising Coordinator, Property Services, $150,000.

r Reduction of district (paid) cell phones, $20,000.

r Reduction of secondary math offerings, $176,000.

r Salary reduction for coaches (25 percent), $81,000.

r Secondary common prep period, $880,000.

r Secondary scheduling changes (rotation of electives), $704,000,

Items Already

Removed From Budget

r Administration operating budget, $370,000.

r Athletic operating budget, $57,000.

r Attrition additional retirement positions 18-19 AY, $440,000.

r Attrition auto body CTE program, $55,000.

r Attrition auto mechanics CTE program, $56,000.

r Attrition cosmetology CTE program, $111,000.

r Attrition elementary positions 17-18 AY, $352,000.

r Attrition music position for 18-19 AY, $88,000.

r Attrition property services support positions, $263,000.

r Attrition secondary positions for 17-18 AY, $440,000.

r Capital project transfer reductions, $180,000.

r Classroom operating budgets, $145,000.

r Curriculum operating budget, $215,000.

r Eliminate summer paint crew services, $15,000.

r Merge secretarial positions: Payroll and benefits, athletics and purchasing, $87,364.

r Reduction of non-instructional administrators: Administrative assistant business offices, PIMS supervisor, $150,000.

r Reduction of band adviser for 17-18, $3,500.

r Security operating budget, $6,000.

r Technology operating budget (move to Chrome books for one to one), $282,000.

r Utility savings, $224,000.

The board has more meetings scheduled, though the schedule is subject to change.

Rosamilia asked the audience if they preferred the meetings be held in the auditorium instead of the cafeteria, and nearly all agreed. Here’s the schedule

r 5 pm. March 1 to discuss the proposed budget.

r 5 p.m. April 5 to discuss the proposed budget.

r 6:30 p.m. May 17 at Bucktail for another vote on the budget, making the open for public review for 20 days minimum.

r 6:30 p.m. June 14 regular board meeting at CMHS for adoption of a final 2018-2019 budget.