Sharon City School District officials continue to try to close a gap in the preliminary 2008-09 budget, the district’s business manager said Tuesday.

The $28.3 million spending plan approved last month had a $1.5 million shortfall. The budget’s been cut down to about $27 million and the shortfall to about $170,000, Business Manager Tresa Templeton said.

Officials trimmed an additional $60,000 since a budget hearing last week.

Expenses were cut, in part, through not filling positions that were added to the budget, she said.

A special education position to replace a teacher who retired two years ago and wasn’t replaced was cut out, along with an additional special education aide, Mrs. Templeton said. Existing staff schedules can be shuffled to cover those duties, she said.

Administrators continue to work on the budget and the board has until June 30 to pass a final plan.

Board President Melvin Bandzak said that “everything is on the table” when it comes to balancing the budget, which includes the possibility of raising taxes.

Under Act 1, the district may raise taxes 4.1 percent, or 2.6 mills, without the voters weighing in. One mill brings about $90,000 to district coffers, Mrs. Templeton said.

If the board were to increase taxes by 1.9 mills, it would be enough to cover the deficit if no more cuts were made.