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School vote: In Farmingdale, no worries about staff cuts

Signs at Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale, where

Signs at Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale, where turnout for the school budget vote is "less than normal." (May 17, 2011) Credit: Patrick Whittle

At Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale, voter Thomas Reddy scoffed at the idea that a district plan to trim 39 positions was too deep a cut. Reddy said high teacher salaries have contributed to the need for budget cuts.

“Staff cuts? These guys are making a fortune,” Reddy said.

Another voter, who declined to be identified by name, said he believed the number of staff positions being cut was “quite low” and added that the district budget needs trims because of its high tax rate.

“Where are we going to get the dollars to get out of this mess?” he asked.

The proposed $146,957,711 budget is 1.34 percent lower than the current budget, but calls for a 2.52 percent increase in the local tax levy. It includes no contractual salary increases for teachers but does include a 2.5 percent step increase. It calls for a reduction of 27.82 instructional staff positions and 11.5 non-instructional staff positions.

Barbara Horsley, assistant district superintendent, said voter turnout was “slightly less” than expected due to the rainy weather.

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