School Board Anticipates Avoiding Program Cuts

While talk of the Crestwood School Board eliminating kindergarten and other programs to balance its budget brought a large crowd to the board’s June 23 meeting, it was announced that the board now anticipates avoiding those measures.

“I’m pleased to inform the board and the audience that, over the last two weeks, the board has uncovered a potential savings to the budget…to create a balanced budget,” Solicitor Jack Dean reported. The savings will come by the district finding a reduction in health care insurance costs, he said.

The vote on the final budget for the 2016-17 school year will be held during a special June 30 meeting, at the high school at 6:30 p. m. In May, the board adopted a preliminary budget of $37.6 million, moving to raise taxes by 4.43 percent. Business Manager Al Melone stated then that, after those taxes are factored in, a $1.2 million deficit remains.

The board, with a deadline of June 30 to submit its final spending plan to the state’s Department of Education, began scrutinizing every aspect of the budget to find where to make cuts. Superintendent Joseph Gorham reported earlier that one of 10 areas where cuts were being considered was the kindergarten program.

At last week’s meeting, Dean praised board members for their diligence this past month in working to find a balance to the budget.