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Positions Cut From Pelham Schools to Meet Tax Cap

PELHAM, N.Y. – In order to conform to the tax cap law, 9.1 staff positions have been cut in a draft of the 2012-13 Pelham School Budget, including several prominent positions such as the director of elementary education, the athletic director, retiring teachers plus those who have resigned, a nurse and a custodian. Dr. Dennis Lauro, superintendent of the Pelham School District, presented the changes in his school budget draft proposal overview at a board of education meeting on Monday night.

Lauro said that the responsibilities of the director of elementary education and the athletic director would be assigned to other administrator positions. Athletic Director Joe DelVecchio will be retiring at the end of the school year, but Lauro did not give any information on Director of Elementary Education Dr. Richard Limato’s role in the Pelham School District in his draft proposal overview.

Due to the cuts, academic supervisors will be forced to teach more classes at Pelham Memorial and the middle schools while retaining their administrative duties.

Class sizes will increase as a result of the decision to not replace retiring teachers, according to Lauro’s budget proposal overview. Kindergarten through second grade will go from 19.2 to 20.7 students, third through fifth grade will increase from 20.5 to 20.9 students and sixth through twelfth grade will jump from 19.9 to 20.8 students.

Lauro’s budget proposal has a tax levy increase of 2.99 percent, but it says that New York State’s tax cap law formula would have permitted an increase of up to 3.03 percent. The budget adds up to $65,523,020, which is 3.69 percent above the 2011-12 budget of 63,189,318.

Two items that were discussed earlier in the year that are not in the budget proposal are half day kindergarten and the joining of elementary schools.

The board of education will go through each line of the proposed budget on Saturday, March 3 at the Middle School Library from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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