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Harrison Makes More Cuts to School Budget

HARRISON, N.Y. – Assistant Superintendent for Business Robert Salierno said the Harrison Central School District still needs to cut an additional $266,365 to stay below the state mandated 2 percent tax cap levy.

Salierno said that the cuts will be made in small amounts across the district adding that there are no plans for layoffs at this point. But, he said, there are vacant positions that will be cut through attrition. According to Superintendent Louis Wool, the district plans to downsize its civil service department “fairly significantly.”

“We need to determine how to reorganize the workforce that we already have,” Wool said. “When I say we have to do more with less I mean that we have to do less with less. Our workers are overstretched but they have multiple skill sets and manage to do the difficult work.”

Two weeks ago, the district was looking to cut $800,000 to come in under the cap. Salierno said the district has thus far cut out approximately $611,000 over the past two weeks. From vacant positions that will not be filled, the district plans to save $359,000.  An additional $142,000 in savings will come from cutting a vacant administration position, though the position to be cut has not yet been determined.

Salierno said with the reductions over the past two weeks, the budget-to-budget increase would be 1.2 percent, which he said was “pretty flat.”

“We are not done,” Wool said. “We are going to get to a number that the board wants us to go to. We are going through the tentative budget with a paring knife as best as possible even though the cuts will affect the system in some way. We are aiming to protect class size and core programs that are in place right now.”

A tentative budget was supposed to be presented at the April 11 school board meeting, but the board decided to push it back to a special meeting that will be held on April 18 due to the scheduled spring break for Harrison schools.

“We are still waiting for the final revenue numbers to come in,” said Board member Joan Tiburzi. “We need April 11 to get a progress update.”

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