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7/24/2013 2:00:00 PM
Jefferson Voters Cut Four Teachers From School Budget
By LCN Staff

Jefferson voters stood behind a $240,000 cut to regular instruction in the school adopted at town meeting earlier this month, voting 370 to 306. The cut will necessitate a reduction of the equivalent of four teaching positions, according to AOS 93 Superintendent Steve Bailey.

At a referendum in June, Jefferson voters rejected a previously proposed budget of $5,137,521 that some citizens raised concerns over, because of staff reductions included in the budget.

The school board had returned with a budget of $5,177,397 at special town meeting on July 9 that included the addition of another teaching position, according to Katherine Hunt, the district's business manager.

However, an amendment passed at the meeting reduced the regular instruction budget by $240,000.

"The intent by the individual who suggested the amendment was to reduce four teaching positions at the school," Bailey said. "The equivalent of four positions or combinations of people will need to be impacted and reduced."

The total approved budget for the 2013-2014 school year is $4,937,397. $2,731,250 of the budget is required to be raised locally under the state's Essential Programs and Services formula. The town's additional local contribution in the approved budget is $459,604, exceeding EPS by $392,117.

Effects of the proposed budget will likely include reduced teaching positions, increased class sizes, and reductions to arts, music, and physical education classes, Bailey said.

The Jefferson School Board is holding a special meeting on Wednesday, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the Jefferson Village School to begin discussions on how the reduced budget will be implemented, Bailey said.

No final decisions will be made at the meeting, but scenarios will be considered, he said.

Teachers need to be provided 90-day notices of any impact to their employment, so the sooner a decision is made, the sooner affected teachers can begin looking for other work, Bailey said.

"We need to provide them some capability of finding other employment," he said.

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