Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 26, 2014

LEW-PORT: District officials discuss budget plans

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “It’s been very challenging with all of the state requirements we have at the clerical level,” primary building leader Tamara Larson said. “We really need three in the office. We can’t get through what we need to do.”

Aside from a clerical need, there’s instructional problems that have arisen between the two schools that, in a better year, would be adjusted. Most notably is the loss of a technology teacher, which came on the heels of the district beginning preparation for the upcoming implementation of computerized state assessments. Art, music and physical education also are shared between the buildings.

The district’s middle school, under the leadership of principal Dean Ramirez, is in a similar position. With fewer resources, the school lost its librarian, which it now shares with the intermediate school. A popular program offering afterschool homework help was also discontinued with a lack of money, though Ramirez said he and assistant principal Andrew Krazmien could bring it back on the cheap if given the opportunity.

High school resource requests for next year under its principal, Paul Casseri, look to increase the building’s instruction in both science and business following last year’s decisions. Casseri said course registration will decide how much staffing the two disciplines need, but he said anywhere from a part-time to full-time person could be added.

But the tough reality administrators deal with after making their requests is the district is still facing a deficit of more than $1 million as Superintendent Christopher Roser prepares the spending plan for next year. Any increases will require a substantial state funding increase, as well as a tax levy increase, if available at all, Roser said.

“Not to be a downer but our finances are not any better off than they were last year,” Roser said. “It really depends on what the state does. There might be some opportunities available.”

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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