After a lot of painful cuts over the past five years, it’s been a relatively drama-free budget season for the Corning-Painted Post school district, one without talk of huge deficits and job cuts.

After a lot of painful cuts over the past five years, it’s been a relatively drama-free budget season for the Corning-Painted Post school district, one without talk of huge deficits and job cuts.

But there’s still one major hurdle - getting voters to approve the district’s $100 million budget proposal for the 2014-15 school year on Tuesday. The proposal includes a 0.68 percent increase in the property tax levy.

During the fiscal crisis that has impacted school districts across the state in recent years, C-PP was forced to close schools, combine sports teams, and make severe cuts in staff, programs and services.

This fall, the district will consolidate its two middle schools and two high schools, gaining further efficiencies.

And C-PP has finally gotten back on relatively stable footing.

“All in all, it was a calmer, less intense budget season than we’ve seen in years,” said C-PP Superintendent Mike Ginalski.

The budget was assembled without aid from the Corning Incorporated Foundation, which gave C-PP a total of $14.4 million over the previous four years to ease budget cuts.

“It goes without saying that Corning provided a bridge for us to maintain programs, and without that, both the curriculum and the services that we provide for kids would look drastically different today,” Ginalski said. “We’re very thankful for their support.”

The proposed tax increase of 0.68 is the lowest C-PP has sought in the past decade. It stays within the state cap, so it will need a simple majority when it goes to the polls Tuesday along with school budgets across the area.

A district wishing to exceed the state tax cap would need 60 percent approval.

C-PP’s tax levy would be about $49 million. The $100 million budget represents a spending increase of 8.74 percent, but most of that is debt service on the facilities project that will wrap up this fall with the opening of the new C-PP Middle School and C-PP High School, and will be reimbursed by the state.

The only staff reductions are through attrition. There were no programs or services cut from current levels, and some course offerings that had been eliminated in the past were restored, Ginalski said.

The polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. Tuesday at Beaver Dams United Methodist Church, Caton Town Hall, the East Corning Fire Department, the former Lindley-Presho Elementary School, Corning Town Hall, Erwin Valley Elementary School, the City of Corning Fire Department and the Administration Building in Painted Post.

To find out where to vote, call District Clerk Karen Dutcher at 936-3704, Ext. 1001.

A glance at some of the other area school budgets being put before voters:

• Bath Haverling’s $34 million proposal includes a 0.71 percent reduction in the tax levy.

Bath was able to shave $59,000 off the levy, bringing it down to $8.3 million for ‘14-’15, and is projecting tax rates to drop by about 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The $34,195,331 proposal represents an increase of 2.91 percent in spending, driven mostly by state and federally required special education costs including transportation and instructional services.

The district was able to contain costs by sharing services with neighboring school districts in the areas of business functions, transportation and special education.

The polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. in the district offices. Along with the budget vote, there will also be school board elections, with Amey Rusak and Scott Ward running for two open seats.

• The Addison Central School District will ask voters for a 2 percent increase in the tax levy in its proposed $27 million budget, well under the state cap.

The budget maintains all programs, services and staff. It includes a spending increase of 3.2 percent, driven by rising health care and retirement system costs. The polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. in the Addison High School gymnasium.

• The Campbell-Savona Central School District is proposing a $23.4 million budget with a 1.28 percent tax levy hike, the maximum allowed under the state cap.

Total spending is up 10 percent over last year, but the majority of the increase is for debt service on the district’s ongoing $20 million capital project, and it was offset by an increase of $2.4 million in building aid from the state.

There are no significant staffing or program cuts in the budget.

The polls are open from noon-8 p.m.

• The Hammondsport Central School District will be asking voters to approve a $13 million budget for the 2014-15 school year with a property tax levy increase of 1.65 percent, which is within the cap.

The proposed levy is $8.2 million. The budget increases spending by $624,748 or roughly 5 percent, with the largest increases in instructional costs, debt service and employee benefits.

There will be no program or staff cuts.

Hammondsport is expecting $4.1 million in state aid. The district used $350,000 in fund balance and $250,000 from reserves to balance the budget.

There will be also two propositions on the ballot.

The district is asking voters to approve spending up to $216,000 to buy two school buses, with $116,000 to be pulled from a transportation capital reserve fund and the rest from fund balance.

The district is also asking voters to authorize the establishment of a new capital reserve fund that would be used to replace 60-year-old boilers and continue asbestos removal, and for other future facilities upgrades.

There are two candidates, Kevin Bennett and Benjamin Hartman, vying for one open seat on the Hammondsport school board.
The polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. in the lobby of the Main Street campus.

• The Prattsburgh Central School District is presenting a $9.68 million budget with a 1.9 percent increase in spending, but isn’t asking for any increase in the property tax levy.

Prattsburgh was essentially allowed no tax increase under the state cap formula, and is instead relying holding down expenses and a small state aid increase. Still, the budget meets state mandated programming and allows for facilities to be maintained, officials say.

Mark Randall is running unopposed for a five-year seat on the school board.

The polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. in the main campus cafetorium.

• The Horseheads Central School District has a $72.3 million proposal with a 1.72 percent tax hike, within the state cap.
Total spending is up slightly at .89 percent.

Administrators used $5.1 million from the fund balance and reserves to close the budget deficit. Cost-saving measures included replacing 21 retiring employees at lower salaries and eliminating the position of a retiring administrator.

Horseheads has a proposition asking for approval to buy two school buses.

Five candidates are running for three open seats: incumbents Brian Lynch, Warren Conklin and Pam Strollo, along with Lisa Christiansen and Kristine Dale.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at Horseheads High School, Big Flats Elementary and Ridge Road Elementary.