TICONDEROGA-The loss of state aid and the cost of a district building project raised taxes in the proposed 2011-12 Ticonderoga Central School District budget.
Those costs along with increasing expenses created a $2.1 million budget deficit for the school board.
Through a series of cuts and employee concessions, the board of education trimmed that number.
The proposed 2011-12 Ti school budget totals $19,085,916. That's an increase of $979,925 - 5.4 percent - from the current spending plan of $18,105,991.
The proposed tax levy for 2011-12 is $10,049,927. That's a $468,569 increase - 4.9 percent - from the present levy of $9,581,358.
Voters will have their say on the proposed school budget Tuesday, May 17, noon to 8 p.m. at the Ticonderoga High School lobby and the Hague Community Center.
The proposed $468,569 tax levy increase can be attributed to either of two main causes - a $479,452 cut in state aid or a $400,000 payment on the recently completed building project.
The school board created the proposed 2011-12 budget with the help of a citizens advisory committee.
"The committee met a lot, worked very hard and had a lot of good discussion," McDonald said. "We've had more public participation in this budget process than ever before."
To close the gap, the proposed 2011-12 budget contains a lot of cuts. Reductions in textbooks, the district newsletter, library, internal auditing, computers, transportation, athletics, summer school, the annual Whale Watch trip and other items total $242,319.
The Ticonderoga Teachers Association decided to assist the district by agreeing to forgo most of its contractual wage increases. Those concessions total $320,000.
Teachers were to receive a 5.73 percent wage increase but agreed to waive 85 percent of their raises and skip step increases in their salaries. They also agreed to freeze extracurricular activity pay.
Teachers Association President Rick Smith said the teaching staff wanted to help the district. It's the second consecutive year teachers have made cost-saving concessions.
"I can't say enough about what our staff has sacrificed over the past two years," said Rick Smith, association president. "I have tremendous respect for their unselfishness, dedication and commitment to our children."
McDonald also praised his teachers.
"The association was very forthcoming," the superintendent said. "They understand the situation and wanted to work together. We appreciate their commitment to out school."
Those concessions, though, weren't enough to prevent job loses.
The elementary school principal position, an elementary reading teacher, a kindergarten teacher and a teaching assistant will be eliminated through attrition.
Two teachers and a teaching assistant will be eliminated by lay off. Three other teachers and a teaching assistant will become half-time positions.
District administrators have agreed to a pay freeze.
While cuts dominate the proposed budget, there are a few spending increases. Fuel costs for next year are anticipated to increase $25,000, and employee retirement costs are up 14 percent.
Ticonderoga has 904 students and employs about 200 people full- and part-time.
Voters will also elect three members to the board of education May 17. Running are incumbents Paula Besson and John P. Reale along with challengers Martin Fitzgerald II, Farley P. Tierney III, Charles Campney and Dale Quesnel Jr.
Incumbent trustee Chris Burns is not seeking re-election.