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23 positions, four programs, and more on chopping block at General Brown

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DEXTER — Four programs, 23 positions and many related services could either be eliminated or reduced as part of the 2013-14 budget at General Brown Central School District, according to information released Tuesday by District Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr.

Mr. Vigliotti and members of the Board of Education originally declined to share the information, which had been requested by local media outlets and community members, prior to the board’s monthly meeting Monday.

Mr. Vigliotti posted the budget message on the district’s website after the Times published a transcript of a message Mr. Vigliotti had inadvertently left on a Times reporter’s voice mail system between he and school attorney Dennis O’Hara. In the voice mail, Mr. Vigliotti blamed the Board of Education for depleting the district’s unappropriated fund balance.

In the budget message, however, Mr. Vigliotti said “the board is not at fault for the district’s current financial situation” because “the reductions in state aid have clearly caused this crisis.”

“The board has in my estimation, made decisions that they felt would be in the best interest of our students, staff and community,” he said in the budget message. “The fact that I may not have agreed with them and advised them differently is not new news. People that have attended board meetings in the past certainly have witnessed that first hand.”

His memo also stated that the board asked him to post the list of potential reductions in personnel, and he encouraged people to understand that the list is a working document the board may change at any time until the 2013-14 spending plan is approved.

He called the process “frustrating to others as they attempt to gather information and form opinions.” Because he said the goal is to ensure “the employee is aware prior to other stakeholders,” he and board members were reluctant to release even the number of positions that could be cut.

According to a list of possible areas of elimination or reduction, the following positions could be affected: administrator, elementary classroom teachers, teacher assistants, a consultant psychologist, physical education teacher, general aides, special education teacher, physics teacher, family and consumer science teacher, technology teacher, language other than English teacher, English teacher, vocal music teacher, art teacher, instrumental music teacher, reading teacher, speech teacher, library media specialist, health teacher, cleaner, secretary, summer workers, and assistant transportation director.

Program areas that were on the same list include full-day kindergarten, modified, junior varsity, and varsity athletics, Merry-go-round youth theatre, and Odyssey of the Mind. Other possibilities included limiting equipment and supplies, and the elimination of department heads, the online tax payment service, and teacher, administrative, and other pay freezes.

The full budget message and position/program list may be viewed on the district’s website. www.gblions.org

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