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Whats Next for Elmira Schools?

Voters rejected a $114 million budget that came with a five percent tax hike....now what?

Whats next for Elmira Schools?

May 16, 2012

Elmira (WENY) - Elmira city school leaders need to come up with a million dollar plan now that voters rejected a $114 million budget that came with a five percent tax hike. Board president Larry McGovern wouldn't go on camera with me this afternoon but says the board has only two options, and that's what they will talk about at Wednesday night's meeting. Elmira voters failed to reach the 60 percent needed to pass the 5 percent tax hike outlined in the last nights budget. The Elmira board of education will have to decide if it wants to hold a second vote, the second vote would cut another $800,000 from the budget, to get down to the tax cap. Then, it only requires a simple majority of voters to approve it. If that fails, the district goes directly to the contingency budget, with no tax increase. That's a million and a half dollars lower than the original proposed budget, but no vote is needed. Either of those scenarios would result in another 15 job cuts, on top of the 111 included in the original budget. He teacher's union president says he's working with teachers to restructure contracts before the June 30th deadline.

“July 1st we would like to have a new contract in place that will help save teachers positions and teaching assistant positions and right now on the table we have a package that would help save a few jobs.”

The board will discuss if it wants to go through a second budget vote, or go straight to the contingency budget. There seems to be plenty of support for another vote.