District adding positions in 2021-22 budget

The Norwood-Norfolk Central School District’s 2021-22 budget will allow them to add some positions. The $24,834,943 budget is a 1.06% increase over the previous year, but has no tax levy increase. The local share is $6,534,756. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

NORFOLK — The Norwood-Norfolk Central School District’s 2021-22 budget will allow them to add some positions.

The $24,834,943 budget is a 1.06% increase over the previous year, but has no tax levy increase. The local share is $6,534,756.

“We are proud that once again we will be asking voters to approve a school budget that doesn’t increase taxes. This will be the fourth year in a row that the tax levy will be the same. In fact, even though the levy hasn’t changed, the tax rate per $1,000 of full assessed value has consistently dropped, meaning for each $1,000 that your home is assessed, you’re paying less per $1,000 than you were previously paying,” Superintendent James Cruikshank said.

He said they’ve been able to keep taxes from increasing while maintaining programming for students. And now they’ll have an opportunity to add more staff for programming if voters approve the budget on May 18.

“We do have some additions that we’ve been talking about,” Mr. Cruikshank said.

Those include a special education teacher and an elementary academic intervention services teacher. They also plan to add a half-time math teacher to an existing half-time teacher position, making that a full-time position.

“We’re doing the same with the librarian. We have a half librarian. We’ll move that to full-time,” he said.

Mr. Cruikshank said they had previously lost a part-time social studies position, but will add that back into the budget, as well as an English teacher.

“There are valid learning loss concerns. It also fits in well with our existing initiatives,” he said.

Two teacher aides are also included in the budget.

The district is applying for another five-year grant to offer an extended day program when the current grant expires this year. But, in the event they’re not grant-funded again, the district has set money aside in their budget to keep the program running.

In addition, they plan to offer a summer school program.

“We’ve pieced elementary summer school together for the last number of years. Usually toward the end of the year we look to piece a program together instead of having funding in the budget. This actually places it solid in the budget. This is putting in a three-week program,” Mr. Cruikshank said.

In addition to the budget, voters will also be asked to approve the purchase of three buses at a cost not to exceed $306,000.

‘This keeps us on our replacement schedule and ensures we have safe buses,” he said.

They will also select three candidates for three-year board of education seats. The candidates are incumbents Rob Barlow, Stephen Markum and James Dillon, and newcomer Kurt Fetter.

The district will hold its budget hearing at 6:30 p.m. today in the elementary cafeteria. It will be viewable on Mr. Cruikshank’s YouTube channel.

The district’s $24.6 million budget for 2020-21 was approved by voters, 673 to 212 last May.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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