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Draft budget contains 2.54 percent levy increase

PENN YAN—The Penn Yan school board presented their latest draft for their 2013-14 budget Wednesday, March 6, which contained a 2.54 percent tax levy increase. The total budget stands at $32,348,597, which is up 2.07 percent from last year’s budget.
The board listed the areas the school district is attempting to save money, which includes $194,000 in administrative cuts, $240,000 in transportation department savings and $380,000 in instructional staff reductions, which includes an additional special education position being removed since the last draft budget.
Superintendent David Hamilton said the district is not cutting a person, but rather a position they were going to call somebody back for. He said with this budget class sizes should remain at the sizes they are currently. Hamilton also said they were adding an English and math teacher to each team in the middle school, while also reducing the number of academic teams at the seventh and eighth grade level from three teams of four teachers to two teams of six teachers.
Hamilton said as far as courses being offered, the school district is unable to offer all the courses they want to. Penn Yan Academy Principal David Pullen said a lot of students are interested in elective courses, but they do not have enough teachers to staff all of them. Hamilton said some courses only have three or so students interested in taking it, and would not be cost effective.
In other business:
• The board approved the creation of an adult beginning piano course, which will be offered in a group format.
• The board approved the appointment of teaching assistant Danielle Fingar. The board said Fingar had previously completed one year of a three year probationary period before being excessed due to budget reductions. The board also approved the resignation of music teacher Allison Fowler.


This article was revised on March 15, 2013 due to the following correction:
In the Wednesday, March 13 issue of The Observer and online at observer-review.com, in a story titled "Draft budget contains 2.54 percent levy increase" the Penn Yan Central School District's budget proposal does not contain a reduction in the number of sports teams for the 2013-14 school year. The shift is instead in the number of academic teams at the middle school, where grades seven and eight are proposed being moved from three teams of four teachers to two teams of six teachers. Also, when Penn Yan Academy Principal David Pullen said a lot of students are interested in elective courses, but they do not have enough teachers to staff all of them, he meant the courses would still be offered to students, but would only be taught if enough students were interested in taking that particular course.