Oysterponds budget revote today; proposed tax levy reduced to .45 percent

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Oysterponds school district budget re-vote will take place today at the school’s gym from 3 to 9 p.m.

The Oysterponds school district budget revote will take place today in Orient at the school’s gym from 3 to 9 p.m.

Orient and East Marion residents rejected the Oysterponds school district’s proposed $5.35 million budget May 15.

Voters will be asked to approve a similar package for the 2012-13 school year, with spending down 4.85 percent from the current school year.

During a public hearing to discuss the spending plan June 12, the board voted in favor of applying an additional $100,000, for a total of $200,000, from the fund balance to offset the initially proposed 2.5 percent tax levy.

Superintendent Joan Frisicano said Friday the move decreases the tax levy to .45 percent.

Although the proposed spending plan includes enriching the school’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics program known as STEM, as well as providing professional development for teachers, it also includes laying off the school’s only librarian and a special education teacher assistant will be excessed due to a reduction in special ed enrollment. Oysterponds currently has nine special ed students and anticipates seven next year, Ms. Frisicano said.

Since a contingent budget would require the district to reduce spending by $125,000, Ms. Frisicano has said it’s possible another faculty position would be cut next year, possibly either a first- or second-grade teacher, should the budget again fall to defeat.

While the district’s “collaborative teaching model” of combining first and second grade next year involves including a teacher for each grade, one of those positions may be removed if the school is forced to reduce spending, Ms. Frisicano said at a previous board meeting.

Check back tonight to find out if the budget passed.

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