Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 23, 2013

Discussion to continue on kindergarten at Niagara-Wheatfield

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Cutting kindergarten to half time would save about 7.5 of the 20 positions, which would put stress on some of the other items on the table. Sabo indicated junior varsity sports and some of the district's award-winning music program will feel the rest of the cuts.

What is troubling to the seven-member board is the financial situation the district has been dealing with throughout the entire budget process. After an attempt to override New York State's property tax levy threshold failed last May, the board members resolved not to attempt the same thing this year. Instead, they set a levy increase at the district's maximum figure, which was calculated through a state-provided formula to be 5.91 percent.

Sabo said the $1 million gap officials are attempting to close takes into account the tax levy increase being passed next month when voters decide. If the district has to resort to its contingency budget, which would provide the district a zero increase to the levy, the result could be catastrophic.

"If the budget fails, it'll be kindergarten gone, varsity sports gone, all music in the middle school and elementary schools gone," he said. "The board understands what cutting kindergarten would do, what the repercussions of these cuts would be. We do know what it'll do." 

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

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