IRVINGTON, N.Y. Residents in the Irvington School District will take to the polls on Tuesday to vote yes or no on a $51.16 million budget that would add an administrative position and eliminate the fifth-grade language program.
The budget represents a 1.65 percent increase from the 2011-12 budget, but falls within the tax cap limit. The budget would increase the tax rate by 3.01 percent.
The board of education believes that the proposed Irvington School District budget is a responsible budget, the district said in a memorandum to residents. The budget maintains the integrity of the core instructional programs in the district.
At the Main Street School, officials are proposing the elimination of the fifth-grade language program, which includes half a year in French and half a year in Spanish.
At Dows Lane Elementary, officials propose to eliminate the position of a computer resource teacher who serves both elementary schools. General education aides and a teaching assistant will also be eliminated.
Officials propose to eliminate a total of 3.4 full-time equivalent positions at the middle school, noting that most are the result of low enrollment. The proposed budget also eliminates the exploratory program.
A number of partial positions at the high school have been eliminated, the board noted, for a total reduction of 3.5 full-time equivalent positions. The cuts include a guidance counselor, which the board notes will mean a reorganization of the department.
The district also plans to add several positions because of state mandates or union contracts. A special education teacher and a special education teacher aide will be added to Dows Lane. The middle school will see four special education teachers take on an additional class and an added academic intervention service position.
The district is also proposing to restore the K-12 arts chair in accordance with the new teachers' union contract.
Officials also propose adding an assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel at a cost of $160,000, which is a reduction from the $180,000 originally proposed. School board members maintain this position is needed to help the district through new teacher evaluations and educational standards.
The economic climate and the tax cap law did present significant challenges, the board noted.
A budget with a 1.65 percent increase over the current budget could not be achieved without staffing reductions, it said in the memo. While such reductions were necessary, they were achieved in a thoughtful manner with a goal toward maintaining the overall integrity of the core instructional programs.
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