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Auburn school board picks budget option that won’t include layoffs

The Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education has approved a tax levy increase and a budget option for 2019-20 that doesn’t include layoffs.

The board selected one of three budget options presented by the district at a meeting Tuesday night.

State aid is a boost of $745,135 from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s January budget proposal figures. Lisa Green, Auburn’s business official, said the district’s budget deficit would come to $340,793 based on the new aid number. To close that gap, the district plans to use around $2 million in reserves and apply other cost-saving techniques, and budget for a 2.23% tax levy increase, which is equal to the district’s tax cap and is the figure the district had been using to build the budget.

The budget choice favored by the district notes that two elementary teacher spots that will see retirements and won’t be filled, and a teacher who currently performs academic intervention services and art will be moved to art full time to replace a retiring art teacher, Green said. Other cutbacks involved limiting support from Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES on the data management system Schooltool to one day a week, bringing instructional support services currently done by BOCES to within the district and bringing Lego/robotics programs by BOCES in-house, Green said.

It will also drop the number of slots in the high school equivalency program with BOCES from 19 to 14, as Green noted the district is working with Cayuga Community College on an alternative program. If that works out, Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo noted, all of the district’s General Educational Development slots would eventually be handled by the college, as it would be at a lower cost than with BOCES.

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