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Easton School Board Trims $58K From Budget

Bernadette Waterman, an Easton parent of three, was encouraged Tuesday when the Board of Finance agreed with the Board of Education's budget cuts.

"It's encouraging as a parent. I would like to see the top line be passed," said Waterman, referring to the school board's original budget proposal with a 2.18 percent spending increase. But the school board presented additional reductions of more than $58,000 to the finance board, brining the budget increase down to 1.91 percent for the 2011-12 school year."I'm happy with the 1.91 percent because, given the economic realities where we are in town, everybody has to weed out any potential cost savings," said Dan Underberger, school board chairman.

The proposed additional $58,000 budget decrease includes cuts in: capital requests for painting and a panic button; anticipated health insurance expense; requests for custodial substitutes at Helen Keller Middle School and Samuel Staples Elementary School; requests for magazine subscriptions at Staples and instructional supplies; summer hours for the Staples office assistants and secretary to the assistant principal; and summer days for the Staples' nurse assistant.

The school board provided a handout that listed further cuts it would make if its budget were to be further reduced. Among those cuts would be one kindergarten teacher and aide. "I moved here last year," said Easton resident Donna Zapulla. "I have a kindergartener with a class size of 23. I look at the teacher and say, 'How do you teach?'"

Mark Pompa, chairman of the Board of Finance, said it is revisiting budgets and identifying cost savings. He said he hopes a budget will be finalized Thursday to be sent to a public hearing in two weeks.

How will these proposed budget cuts affect you and your family? Leave your comments below.

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