Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 19, 2013

District losses revealed|10 teaching positions, retirees on chopping block as Lew-Port continues budget talks

Niagara Gazette — Lewiston-Porter Superintendent Christopher Roser was dreading the moment he had to reveal preliminary plans for cuts financial restrictions could force his administration to make heading into 2013-14.

What's even more difficult to take, for taxpayers and employees alike, is the 10 teachers positions he's proposed won't close the substantial gap the district faces. There's still more to come.

"There's going to be larger class sizes next year," Roser said after a brief presentation during Tuesday's school board meeting. "I would like to say we're done, but we're not."

Last week, Roser revealed the district is facing a $3.3 million gap between what money it will receive and what the current year's spending plan would look like with no cuts to staffing and step increases factored in.

Aiding the district would be eight retirements which wouldn't be filled with new staff, including the assistant superintendent for business services, Don Rappold's position through June 30. Roser's cuts also include eliminating modified sports, which would save the district $44,600 next year and transportation cuts for $81,000 in savings.

But it's the teaching positions which will hurt the district the most, with one person cut from each from English, mathematics, science, spanish, business and technology. Two elementary teachers and a librarian would also see their jobs eliminated. The cuts would save the district $701,000.

After all of those, Roser said, the district would still need to find a way to come up with more than $500,000 extra to close the hole, a grim reality all of the district's employees must deal with.

"It's a different process this year," Roser said. "It's going to be a lot of soul searching to get this figured out. It's going to require a lot of math and tough decisions."

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