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Penn Yan gets $500K from state   ADVERTISEMENT

Penn Yan gets $500K from state

PENN YAN—The Penn Yan school board voted to delay the adoption of their 2013-14 budget to account for an additional $500,000 the district has received in state aid during their meeting Wednesday, March 27. Superintendent David Hamilton said the news came just the night before, causing the board to look at ways they can amend the current budget with the additional funding.
Hamilton said the board was looking to put $200,000 of the additional state aid into a reserve fund in order to be “fiscally safe.” He said the other $300,000 would be put back into the expenditure budget.
Hamilton said the board wanted to restore two teacher positions at the elementary school that were previously taken out of the budget. He said the district has been on a “rightsizing path” which led to the reduction of a library clerk, two elementary school teacher jobs being vacated by retirement, three teacher’s assistants, a full-time social studies teacher and a full-time science teacher position in the prior budget. Hamilton said the board is still comfortable with reducing all but the two elementary teacher jobs. Hamilton said about half of the $300,000 would be used to reinstate these positions.
Board member Kathy Guenther said she still did not approve of reducing the library clerk position. She said the students at the elementary especially will need a clerk to help them, and she does not believe the librarian alone will be able to do all the additional work.
Hamilton said the remaining half would be put toward technology investments the school was not able to do under the prior budget. He said these investments would help the school prepare for computer-based testing.
Hamilton said the state used a “really complicated formula” to determine the increase in funding that is very different from school to school. He said Penn Yan’s increase is due to the state taking less money away from the district as well as restoring some aid they had taken out in the past. Hamilton said even with the additional state funding, the tax levy increase should remain the same.
“We are looking to keep the levy at 2.54 [percent], which is still, I believe, the lowest levy in the area,” Hamilton said.
In other business:
• The board scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Penn Yan elementary cafeteria for the proposed 2013-14 school budget. The board also scheduled a vote to be taken on the annual budget Tuesday, May 21 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Penn Yan middle school gymnasium. The public will be voting on both the approved budget and the purchase of two 65 passenger school buses and two 30 passenger school buses at a total cost of $335,000.
• Board President Jeff Morehouse congratulated Hamilton on completing his doctorate program during the meeting. Board Member Nancy Scher was also given a Board Excellence Award for accumulating 150 points in leadership development.