Dundee school board cuts teacher position

Gwen Chamberlain

The Dundee School Board has completed its work on the 2011-’12 budget it is sending to voters. The final version includes a scaled-back technology plan, but it does not include summer driver’s education or the continuation of the high school business teacher position.

On April 7, the board unanimously supported the $13.6 spending plan that represents a 3 percent increase in the local tax levy, which stands at nearly $4.7 million. The final version of the budget maintains the guidance counselor positions in both the elementary and Jr./Sr. High School.

The board also restored the fall cheerleading team after coach Dawn Baker offered to volunteer her coaching services. Baker read a statement outlining her involvement with the team which got a late start last year. She said the former coach’s resignation gave her three days to form a team with 12 cheerleaders. In the winter, participation grew to 25, and the team earned a third place award in competition, the highest ever achieved by a Dundee cheer squad in 20 years.

Following comments from students Tyler Carruthers and Ken Eldridge, who asked the board to reconsider eliminating the summer driver education program, Board President Joseph Capurso said, “The board does not want to cut anything. It’s a very difficult decision for us, and we know what the impact is for each of these cuts. We have to strike the balance between value for our students and the costs for the taxpayers.”

When the budget planning process began, the board faced an 8.8 percent tax levy increase. Previous reductions included eliminating a social studies teacher position, a second grade class position, reducing seven athletic teams, and removing bus purchases from the budget. Bus purchases will be subject to voter approval of a reserve fund for buses.

A public hearing on the budget and an opportunity to meet the candidates for the board of education will be held at 7 p.m. May 3. The vote on the budget and the school board election will be held May 17.

Other business on the board’s agenda April 7 included:

• GRADUATION: Superintendent Kathy Ring reported that the senior class voted to keep its graduation ceremony on the school campus. There had been discussion of the ceremony being held at another location, perhaps Glenora Wine Cellars, because excavation work for the capital improvement to the athletic fields will involve the area of the lawn where the ceremony is usually held.

• MEETINGS: The board will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. April 27 to vote on the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES administrative budget and BOCES board members. The next regular meeting of the board will be held at 7 p.m. May 12.