SANBORN, N.Y. -- Kindergarten is saved for now in the Niagara Wheatfield school district.
Tonight the school board revealed its budget which includes one-million dollars in cuts but does not cut Kindergarten. The proposal to cut Kindergarten drew a very negative response when it was announced earlier in the week.
The proposal going to voters May 21 includes cutting six teaching positions, along with $414,000 in savings through retirements. That would fill the one-million dollar budget gap. The rest of the budget shortfall, which is $2.4 million altogether, would be made up for with a 5.9-percent tax increase. One school board member tells us, if approved, his taxes would go up about $170 a year.
The $62.7 million budget proposal revealed Wednesday night includes eliminating two full-time elementary school teaching positions: one regular position and one special education position. The budget would also eliminate two middle school teaching positions, impacting technology, science and literacy teachers. A high school position would also be cut, along with a special program teacher who makes $79,000 a year. Six teachers' aide positions, three monitor positions, one cleaner position and three transportation department positions would also be impacted. Two of the transportation department employees would go from full to part-time and one person would lose their job.
If voters reject the tax increase, the board will have to come up with another plan to save money. That plan would possibly involve cutting kindergarten or making it half day, and could also include cutting sports, music, art and AP classes. Anything that is not mandated by the state could be on the chopping block.