UE Superintendent: "Nothing Left To Cut"
10/9/2012 (Updated 11:07:00 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
The last few years have not been easy on Union-Endicott School District's fiscal budget, and the upcoming 2013-2014 budget is no different.
UE Superintendent Dr. Suzanne McLeod presented delivered her first budget address for the 2013-2014 school year to the Board of Education Tuesday night.
"We've had to make cuts before. We've eliminated positions, trimmed programs, and reassessed financial priorities, " said McLeod. "But there's a point where there's nothing left to cut anymore."
A lack of state aid and the additional blow of a huge reduction in the tax assessment of the Huron Campus over the summer is leaving the district with a bare bones school budget once again.
The district has already eliminated more than 100 positions since the 2011-2012 budget and cut 25% to athletic programs, clubs, and extra curricular activities.
Programs not mandated by New York State such as the kindergarten program could be on the chopping block according to McLeod.
Another possible cost-cutting measure the board may consider is shrinking the boundaries for transportation.
McLeod said the board is projecting a 1.5% increase in state aid from the governor's proposed 3.5% increase in his two year state-wide projection.
"In the meantime, the best option is to work with the community to really establish priorities in the budget," said McLeod. "What do they want preserved in order to achieve the board's goals."
McLeod also suggests members of the community to reach out to legislatures to help the governor's office understand the situation the district is in.
McLeod has already ordered a freeze on the current budget in an effort to save as much money for next year's budget. "We're looking at every expense very carefully to see if we really need to spend the money."
Preliminary numbers presented Tuesday night based on the current tax levy calculations, residents can expect to see a tax increase of around 2.09%.
Budget workshop sessions are scheduled for January 23rd, February 6th, March 6th, and March 27th.
McLeod said this is the earliest the board has ever started planning for the next year's budget.
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