Press-Republican

Education

March 14, 2013

City School anticipates 2013-14 budget gap

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City School District officials and community members were recently reminded that planning the 2013-14 budget will be a balancing act.

“On one side of the scale, we have the financial matters ... and on the other side, it’s being balanced against what we want for an education program,” City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short said at the School Board meeting.

He told attendees that a rollover budget — a spending plan for 2013-14 that maintains all of the district’s current expenses except known retirements — would come in at $39.6 million.

REVENUE PROJECTIONS

As of now, the district anticipates $17.9 million in revenues next school year, which includes federal and state aid, local funding and allocated fund balance.

Short noted that aid numbers are only projections at this point. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget, which would give the City School District a less than 1 percent increase in aid, hasn’t been approved. 

And the district has no indication from the federal government about funding for 2013-14.

“I don’t think it should be lost on any of us (that) state aid and federal aid, our governmental support for public schools, is limited, and (we) don’t expect it to do much more than that,” he said.

In addition, Short noted, the district operates a number of grant-funded programs that could see funding reduced as a result of federal sequestration.

The preliminary 2013-14 revenue figure includes $1.9 million in fund balance, the same as was allocated by the board for this year.  

It is up to the board to decide whether to move forward with that allocation or modify it, Short said.

TAX LEVY

The draft budget carries a tax-levy increase of 2.5 percent, which would generate $20.3 million for the district.

Short said that 2.5 percent is an arbitrary figure that he chose to use as an example. The district’s actual tax-levy increase for the upcoming school year must also be determined by the board.

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