"Be sensitive to the economic times: Decreased sales tax revenue. Interest revenues are in half," Tufankjian said.
Helping to offset the loss in revenue in the proposed budget was a 10 percent increase in state aid, including funding for a full day of kindergarten, something Tufankjian said has never been funded by the state before.
Tufankjian unveiled the proposed budget in PowerPoint format in front of the board members, a group of school district administrators and a smattering of spectators at the Park Hill Pre-Kindergarten School in East Syracuse.
In case that budget is not approved by the voters, there is a contingency for another $300,000 for appropriation, Tufankjian said.
ES-M superintendent Donna DeSiato helped justify the increased spending and proposed tax increases by pointing out statistics that put the district's performance in a positive light. Her favorite was a graph showing graduation rates from the past four years, that have climbed each year, from 82 percent to last year's 94 percent.
"I don't know any district that would be more proud than I am to show a chart like this," DeSiato said.
DeSiato ended the budget discussion with a short, frank statement.
"So that's it," DeSiato said. "That's the investment that we believe we make. That's what we see as our projection. We know that our students are the best investment and our resources go far beyond what we receive monetarily."
Kyle Austin is currently a journalism student at the Syracuse University Newhouse School.