BEDFORD, N.Y. – As the dust settles after a very publicly debated budget process, residents of the Bedford Central School District will get their chance to vote on the budget on May 21. Before that, they will get one more chance to ask questions or voice concerns Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Fox Lane Middle School Little Theater.
Although BCSD Superintendent Jere Hochman’s initial proposal weighed in at $124,229,131 and carried over 30 position cuts throughout the district, the budget that was adopted comes with a $125,057,000 price tag and will cut 19.5 positions throughout the district.
The most significant changes from the first proposal to the proposal stemmed from public outcries for the positions of all the district’s elementary librarians and the position of student assistance counselor Lauren Beeson .
While both were originally slated to be cut, public statements on their behalf kept them on board for at least one more year.
Those last-minute changes were made possible in large part because of $104,000 commitment of revenue support from outside sources. That money came shortly after Hochman’s request for community support.
“We have to find out where our line ends and where the community’s line begins,” said Hochman.
The pending budget has certainly left an impression on those who have played a hand in putting it together. With much of the financial commitments within the budget being state-mandated, the lack of flexibility for the district was not lost on its officials.
Board of Education member Suzzane Grant called the process “tricky.”
“It was a tricky budget balancing act this year. It was very difficult,” she said. “I’m happy we were able to recoup what we did, however, with 19.5 position cuts still happening, it’s bittersweet.”
However, the budget’s last step is its most important.
“Our budget is dependent on voters,” said Board of Education President Susan Wollin.
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