If the 2008/2009 school year budget was cast in stone now, the average homeowner would see a $287 tax increase. But the budget is far from final at this point, and it is standard operating procedure to include worst case scenarios in these early rounds of review. As the budget cycle continues through 1Q08, you’ll start to see some of those expenditures come down (most likely).
Unfortunately there’s a limit to how much we can cut under the current teacher’s contract. For the moment, we cannot make any new assumptions regarding salaries, benefits, class size, etc. Once the new contract is in play, the board and the district should have significantly more latitude in managing expenses. Hopefully that will occur before the 2008/2009 budget is voted on by the Board in June 2008.
You can learn more about the preliminary budget by reading this Courier Times article.