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The Dansville Online
  • Wayland-Cohocton board given budget cut proposal

  • Wayland-Cohocton board of education was given a budget reduction plan by Superintendent Michael Wetherbee during Monday night's regular meeting.

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  • With minimal state aid increases and property tax cap issues coming from the state, combined with rising costs such as health insurance, schools are once again strapped.
    Wayland-Cohocton board of education was given a budget reduction plan by Superintendent Michael Wetherbee during its Monday night regular meeting.
    Revenues for Wayland-Cohocton are expected to total just less than $28 million next year. That’s including a 2 percent tax increase factored in, which would require a 60 percent supermajority public vote.
    The much talked-about 2 percent tax cap has been wrongly publicized. Not every entity across the state is allowed a 2 percent tax cap. The maximum allowable levy for Wayland-Cohocton is actually .68 percent according to formulas.
    Although the district is anticipating $28 million in revenue, the expenses for Wayland-Cohocton are expected to total a little more than $29 million.
    “Unfortunately when you’re looking at such large deficits, the only way to make up that dramatic of a deficit is in reduction of salaries. There is just no way around it,”?Superintendent Michael Wetherbee said.
    “It is unfortunate, it is not good for kids. It is not only our reality, it is the reality of school districts all across the state.”
    Wetherbee also said that since this is the third year in a row the district has had to make such reductions, it has become impossible to do so without greatly impacting the education of students.
    To make the revenues balance with expenditures, Wetherbee proposed reducing the budget by 24 staff positions – including one administrator and 10 coaching positions; plus eliminating a pre-k special education program and through concessions in the administrative union contract.
    Wetherbee added that this proposal is not set in stone. The board will be discussing what actions to take regarding this proposal, including whether it wants to stay at a 2 percent tax increase.
    The board is scheduled to decide on a budget during its April 18 meeting. The public vote will be May 15. The next regularly scheduled board meeting on March 26 has been cancelled.

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