Press-Republican

Education

April 12, 2014

Plattsburgh City School adopts budget

Plan maintains all current programs and carries a tax-levy increase of .16%

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City School District’s 2014-15 spending proposal maintains all current student programs and staffing levels.

“However, there are going to be transfers, reassignments and sharing of personnel between buildings,” City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short told attendees of Thursday night’s School Board meeting.

“We’re not going to lay anybody off, but people’s worlds are going to change, and we’re going to re-manage and re-deploy people.”

TAXES UP ONLY SLIGHTLY

During the session, the board voted 8-1 in favor of adopting the $39,526,458 budget, which is down $106,349 over this year’s plan.

It carries a tax-levy increase at the district’s .16 percent state-allowed limit.

Short noted that while the school anticipates a state-aid increase of $478,138 over the current year, it is losing an additional $1.3 million in funding to the state’s Gap Elimination Adjustment.

LESS RESERVES USED

Despite rising costs associated with inflation, salaries, retirement and health-insurance rates, he continued, the district is able to make ends meet in the upcoming year.

The spending plan calls for the allocation of $1.7 million in fund balance; this is down from the $2.5 million in reserves allocated to the current year’s budget.

“It feels a little bit better because this will allow the fund balance to last a little bit longer,” Short said. “Instead of only (being) good for two to three years, maybe it’s good for three to four.”

ADDITIONS

There were a number of new funding requests for 2014-15, he noted, not all of which made it into the proposed spending plan.

For example, Short said, the idea of creating a curriculum-coordinator position to address the great need for curriculum adjustments has been discussed at length, but, “I thought we couldn’t afford it, so I cut it.”

The proposal, however, does allow for more professional development; the conversion of Momot Elementary’s dean of students to an assistant-principal position to assist with teacher and faculty evaluations; and the purchase of a bus with a wheelchair lift, for which the school will receive state aid.

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