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Schools look at belt tightening

by jmaloni
Thu, Jan 13th 2011 07:00 am

The Niagara-Wheatfield Board of Education continued budget preparations at its Jan. 5 meeting with reports on possible cuts from its elementary schools.

"Everybody had reductions. That's basically what we're looking for. They're not final yet," said Board President William Conrad.

Among items presented by the schools were not replacing staff members who retire and making do or cutting back on materials and equipment.

He explained that the board is concerned not only about keeping its goal of a zero tax increase, but about possible mid-year cutbacks in state aid.

"We're making sure we operating within our means and being wary with other people's money," he said.

In other matters:

An elementary school parent complained that her child is being bullied on the school bus. Conrad promised to look into the matter with Superintendent Carl Militello and the district's new transportation director, Michael Dallessandro.

The board approved a $30,000 consulting contract with the Buffalo Audubon Society. Business Manager Kerin Dumphrey said the group will assist with plans for the nature walk on school district property that was approved by voters last fall as part of the capital improvement project. Only Greenway funding is to be used for the project. Dumphrey said Audubon and school district officials are expected to meet in the next couple of weeks to begin planning.

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