(55 Total References)
Capital Improvement Project 2015 / Letter from the BOE President
Superintendent Gregory J. Woytila
176 Walck Rd.
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
NYS Standards and Truths of Equality: North Tonawanda Teacher Convicted of DWI Reported to NYSED
Superintendent of North Tonawanda City School District, Gregory Woytila, confirmed at a Public Session of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education of the City of North Tonawanda School District held on Thursday, September 13, 2012, that a Moral Character Complaint was filed with New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives in the matter of North Tonawanda teacher Arthur J. Harack who was convicted and sentenced on August 25, 2012, in Niagara County Court before the Honorable Sara Sheldon Farkas for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.
"The board is really split right ...
"The board is really split right now, I think, about what if any tax increase they want to put to voters," North Tonawanda Superintendent of Schools Greg Woytila said.
With almost $4 million in cuts already suggested, Woytila
said a current tax increase of 3.79 percent (or about $70 for the average homeowner) is the sum of progress so far, as roughly $1 million still must be shaved to avoid tax increases.
To put things in perspective, Woytila
said increased costs tied to honoring step increases for teachers this year are worth $1 million in salary alone.
The district's contribution to the pension system has risen about 50 percent, while health care costs are similarly higher.
Still, a one-year step freeze would keep taxes in check for now.
"The kind of double edged sword is that yes it could (balance the budget) but there would still be cuts," Woytila
"There has been communication back and forth with all (unions).
No one's agreeing to a freeze at this point but we're continuing to look at things we can do."
The district's largest single union representing about 380 employees, North Tonawanda
United Teachers, issued a letter Tuesday on the matter, in which president Gary Lachut thanks Woytila for a willingness to negotiate but also says the district rejected an offer put forth March 19 "which demonstrated our willingness to help."
said negotiations for concessions have been somewhat clouded by the fact that teachers' contracts expire June 30, meaning a new four-year contract would normally be negotiated.
said given the budget picture including about a $2 million reduction in state aid, the district instead is seeking a temporary, one-year extension including a step freeze in teacher pay and changes to insurance co-pay amounts.
District Superintendent Greg ...
District Superintendent Greg Woytila said no agreements have yet been reached, but said each of the five unions is open to at least discussing the matter.
"We had talked to all the unions about being part of the solution with the budget situation we're in," he said.
"Some are setting up appointments, some are talking to their groups but as for dollar amounts or what the concessions would be, we haven't gotten that far yet."
The school board and Woytila began last month working to propose myriad cuts to staff and programs in order to try and close a roughly $5 million shortfall.
In simplest terms, the district like most of those in the state, is facing huge increases in costs associated with personnel while losing millions of dollars in state aid and Albany effectively downsizing assistance to schools across the board.
Numerous proposed cuts to non-mandated classes across the district - especially at the elective-rich high school level - have hypothetically reduced the projected deficit in North Tonawanda to possibly less than $1 million, with a tax levy of 2 to 3 percent still looming.
Officials are still considering what portion of the budget may need to be made up in taxes, though the goal of a zero percent tax levy is still being sought.
"We're in the 2 to 3 percent range now," Woytila said.
The recently passed state budget returned about $185,000 in projected shortfalls in state aid the district has used to paint a preliminary picture of its finances.
Even with the slight return over conservative estimates, however, state aid to the district has still decreased by almost $2 million.
In light of that, rising costs associated with personnel account for a big part of the persistent shortfall, with contributions to the state's pension system up 50 percent this budget season, along with a 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums, Woytila said.
Such issues have also affected municipalities across the state, as flagging Wall Street investments needed to help pay for pensions have meant more of the bill is passed on to taxing entities like school districts.
Contractual step increases in employees' salary also added about $1 million in expenses this year.
Still, myriad proposed cuts, if adopted would leave the district with a tax-neutral budget if and only if another $700,000 to $1 million can be shaved, Woytila said.
Union concessions still likely wouldn't make up all of the difference, he said.
That alone is not going to save it," Woytila
With regard to North Tonawanda's teachers, seniority is one factor accounting for the district's place in the rankings, North Tonawanda School District Superintendent Greg Woytila said.
said about 50 of the 380 teachers in the district are at the top step of their seniority.
"Somewhere else might have a little higher salary but they're not as seasoned," Woytila
Competing for the job is current ...
Competing for the job is current North Tonawanda Executive Director of Educational Services Greg Woytila, who will similarly be interviewed throughout the day today, including a period for public questioning at the 175 Humprey St. administration building at 6 p.m.Doug Benz/News
Frey, whose title for three years in Depew has been assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and personnel, is vying for the superintendent position along with current North Tonawanda School District Executive Director of Educational Services Greg Woytila.
will similarly be interviewed throughout the day today, including a period for public questioning at the 175 Humprey St. administration building at 6 p.m.
Frey goes first in two day stakeholder interviews; Woytila