Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

March 18, 2013

Layoffs on the table in Lew-Port

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Each percentage point the levy is increased would net the district an additional $223,592 in taxes. To fill the gap entirely without laying off anyone, would require almost a whopping 19 percent tax levy increase.

Jaruszewski, who’s looking to keep as many teachers employed by the district as possible, said he’s had discussions with Roser about possible union concessions in order to save jobs. But until there are final numbers, including an approved state budget expected later this month, there’s little the district can do but speculate.

“We did have conversations,” Jaruszewski said, “and we threw a few ideas out there. My mentality is let’s try to save even one job if we can. But the well is dry and there’s no where to turn. We’re going to have to scramble to get out of this. The damage is coming, we just don’t know how bad it’ll be.”

Last May, voters approved a budget which increased the district’s tax levy by 3.51 percent and eliminated a handful of positions, especially at the elementary level.

More cuts, especially if as drastic as feared, would cause a disruption to some of the district’s programs afforded at the district’s youngest levels. These programs, including the district’s looping of staff between the district’s primary and intermediate education centers, are considered among the tops in Niagara County, according to PEC principal Tamara Larson.

“The amount of time and success we have demonstrated has led to some of our staff becoming consultants of sorts,” she said. “Our vision is to grow our programs and to get families into the Lewiston-Porter family earlier than normal in these tough financial times.”

One of the primary concerns administrators like Larson and IEC principal Andrew Auer expressed when asked to present their administrative budgets was concerning technology.

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