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Odessa plans 5.5 staff cuts

ODESSA—The Odessa-Montour school board announced Thursday, March 24, it would cut 5.5 positions to help cover the 2011-12 budget gap.
Following a 45 minute executive session at the start of the meeting, Superintendent Jim Frame said the board came to a consensus. He added the district would save money by not filling another 2.5 positions that would be empty by the next school year.
“I believe we are at the beginning of a long, tough road,” said Frame. “Unless funding changes, we’ll continue to lose personnel.”
The board heard about the proposal to cut $544,233 from salaries at the March 3 workshop meeting. At that meeting, Business Administrator Greg Dale said the school’s budget was based on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposals and a two percent tax levy increase.
Frame said Odessa-Montour took a five percent hit in state aid. He added the district made reductions in every area of the budget. In addition to the staff cuts, Frame said $384,349 will be reduced from non-personnel (like supplies). He explained these cuts still leave a $268,595 gap, which will be covered by reserve funds.
“The problem is you can’t do that forever,” said Frame. He added, if there is any restoration of funds it would go back into the reserve. To the four O-M staff members in the audience, Frame said there would be an informational meeting this week to explain the budget.
Board member Matt Walters asked about the after school detention program: it is open to any student who wants help and is how failing student athletes can remain eligible to play. He asked if the almost $7,000 program was needed, considering so many of the sports teams were being named Scholar Athletes. Frame said he would get the program coordinator to speak to the board and answer questions about the program. He also said he would e-mail all staff budget suggestions to the board members.




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