Superintendent Trina Newton strongly believes Geneva¹s students deserve the best education we can give them.
In her message to school district residents on the eve of the annual school budget vote, Newton, who joined the district as superintendent earlier this year, said she has ³come to realize the entire community is focused on supporting our children and deeply care about their education as well.
The principle of staying away from cuts in instructional programs throughout the district has guided the preparation of the proposed school budget for the 2012-2013 school year, she stressed.
The school budget vote will take place Tuesday, May 15, from noon until 9 p.m. at the Geneva High School Main Gym. Special reserved parking arrangements will be made at the back of the school, near the main gym entrance, to ensure greater convenience for voters.
At the same time, voters will elect two members of the Board of Education for five-year terms. The candidates are Dr. Stanton Tepfer, an incumbent, and Barbara Roesch Rokow.
The proposed budget of $43,740,000 calls for an increase of 2.9 percent in the tax levy. Newton explained that the district could have increased the tax levy up to 3.3 percent under the New York State tax cap legislation, but they worked hard to keep the increase as low as possible while maintaining educational programs.
There are no teacher cuts, no music cuts, no arts cuts, no athletics cuts,² Newton emphasized.
Details on the school budget are in the mail to residents in the May2012 Panther Pride newsletter. Budget documents are available by calling the district office at 781-0400 or on the website at www.genevacsd.org.
The 38-member advisory committee composed of community members, parents, staff and other stakeholders has been providing input on crafting the budget since February.
The committee letter stated, ³Although the reductions proposed do involve the loss of some positions through both retirements and eliminations, nonetheless we feel that the district has been thoughtful and diligent in minimizing the impact on student opportunities in this budget.
There is much to improve in American public education and our District is no exception in this regard,² the letter continued. ³But there is much to be proud of in Geneva¹s schools, successes that struggle for attention when our tendency is to be absorbed by our challenges.²
Some key details about the school budget are as follows:
- Positions eliminated include two health aides, eight teaching assistants and one student supervisor;
- Positions added are two cleaners, a floating Licensed Practical Nurse and an English Language Learner teacher;
- The budget held the spending increase to 1.5 percent, including a $1,000,000 jump in health insurance costs;
- $1.2 million of district reserve funds were used to hold down the tax levy increase; and
- Aggressively pursuing grants to provide relief for taxpayers. Just in the past school year, the district was awarded grants of $2.5 million and $92,000.