School Eyeing Big Cuts

W hen Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a $132.9 billion budget on Feb. 1 focused on closing the state’s fiscal gap, officials in the Granville School District heard little good news in the address.

The governor’s aid run, the first indication school districts receive reporting potential state aid numbers, is down again, more than last year.

Business manager Cathy Somich said on Friday, Feb. 4, the district is looking at an aid loss of about $900,000 for the 2011-2012 budget or 7 percent more than last year.

“We’re waiting to see what happens, but that is not good news,” Somich said.

“This governor seems to want to get education costs down by reducing state aid and then there’s (talk) of a 2 percent tax cap,” Somich said. “With the loss of that aid what can (the board) do? They’re going to have to make cuts.”

It is too early in the budget process to say what the aid cut will equate to, either in loss of programs, sports or jobs, but cuts seem unavoidable, Somich said.

Somich said the cuts into state aid might not be as severe once budget negotiations continue between the governor, senate and assembly, but it is certain Granville will lose substantial state support for the second year.

Superintendent Mark Bessen has already begun meeting with building administrators setting the groundwork for the budget process, Somich said. 

“We’re waiting to see what the legislature does but in the mean time Mark has been in contact with Rep. Tony Jordan and Sen. Betty Little as I’m sure a lot of other rural school districts have done,” Somich said.

In the 2010-2011 budget the district lost $765,000 in state aid, a gap the Granville Board of Education closed, at least in part, with cuts and fund balance monies as the $24.2 million budget did not raise taxes for the second year in a row.

Somich said the school’s fund balance was currently about $4 million. “We’re looking at depleting $1.5 million from the fund balance and that’s just what it takes to balance the budget on fund balance alone,” Somich said. “We can’t live on that forever.”

Adding to the worries, Somich said the school has not seen an increase in foundation aid since 2008-2009 and a scheduled restart of increases has now been pushed back to 2016. In the meantime costs associated with running the district continue to increase from contracted raises in employee pay, health care and retirements to fuel for school buses and building boilers.

The work on the newest budget begins with the Feb. 14 Board of Education meetin

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

‘Legend’ draws folks from far and wide

Andrew Francisco

By Matthew Saari Guinness World Records lists Jeanne Louise Calment as the oldest person ever, having passed away at the […]

Northshire Freepress – 06/23/17

North Country Freepress – 06/23/17

Lakes Region Freepress – 06/23/17

518 Wheels – 06/19/17

Alumnus tells school board: Whitehall falling short

John Diekel

By Matthew Saari Newly minted Air Force Lieutenant John Diekel made an appearance before the Whitehall Board of Education Monday […]

Berke wins Granville School Board runoff

Philip A. Berke

By Krystle S. Morey Philip A. Berke won the ninth and final seat on the Granville Board of Education Tuesday […]

Waters wins Whitehall School Board runoff

Roxanne Waters won the final seat on the Whitehall School Board in a runoff election June 20.

By Matthew Saari Roxanne Waters claimed the ninth and final Whitehall Board of Education seat Tuesday night, garnering 145 votes […]

After more than a year, state audit ‘still ongoing’

The Hook & Ladder is one of the Granville fire companies being audited by the New York State Comptroller's Office.

By Krystle S. Morey More than a year after the village of Granville asked the state to audit its fire […]

Busty’s causes a stir

The owner of Busty's Brew and BBQ in Whitehall decided to edit his sign after receiving flack from local officials.

By Matthew Saari The provocative mascot with her plunging neckline at Busty’s Brew and Barbecue Pit in Whitehall is at […]

Northshire Freepress – 06/16/17

Northshire_6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 06/16/17

Lakes_6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf