FONDA - A public revote Tuesday on the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District budget passed in a vote of 668-483 Tuesday.
District voters approved a $23.9 million budget for the 2012-13 school year that calls for a 3.5 percent tax increase.
The district's previously proposed budget, defeated by voters May 15, sought an 8 percent tax increase, which was above the state-imposed tax cap for that district.
The revised tax increase falls 1.3 percent below the tax cap.
Board of Education President Linda Wszolek said today the margin of passage was a vote of confidence for the district, which can now move forward.
"We're very relieved and very happy our budget has passed," Wszolek said.
She said the budget contains about 25 job cuts. She said the cuts include teachers and teaching assistants.
The district also eliminated the superintendent of buildings and grounds position for 2012-13, which saved $80,000.
To save more money, the school district is freezing the salaries of all employees for 2012-13 and eliminating modified sports except for soccer. As a result of the cutbacks, the district will have fewer academic offerings.
Superintendent James Hoffman said today his feeling about the revote and budget passage is one of "tempered relief," mostly because of the 25 job cuts.
"It's good news-bad news," he said.
The district's current budget is $24.5 million, so the newly passed 2012-13 budget of $23.9 million is down 2.4 percent from 2011-12.
The new budget includes no additional opportunities for students and increases in class sizes.
Patrick Michel, superintendent of the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services, will serve as interim superintendent of the district for free, saving the district about $60,000.
According to the district website, the district saved $510,000 by having all district employees agree to accept no raise for the 2012-13 school year. Officials said all groups agreed to the freeze to save additional positions. The money saved did not reduce the budget; it was reallocated to return staff who would have been laid off otherwise. Seven teachers and three support staff who otherwise would have lost their positions were returned to the district.
The website notes the 2012-13 budget is below the tax cap limit, despite a 1.3 percent reduction in spending - the district's third-consecutive reduction in spending. The district's total spending since 2009-10 is down 6 percent. State aid has been reduced from $15.43 million to $12.96 million since that time.
Michael Anich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.