Future budget concerns J-D board

Concerns regarding the upcoming state budget cuts amid the current financial crisis was the main topic of conversation at the Dec. 1 Jamesville-DeWitt School Board meeting.

Aside from approving the minutes from the previous board meeting and approving the superintendent's personnel recommendations, every other agenda item centered on the current financial crisis and the potential changes it will force the district to make.

Though the state legislature has not made any changes since the last J-D school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Alice Kendrick said the state could potentially have a 25 percent gap in revenue from last year, meaning that one-fourth of the revenue that would usually be allocated to school districts, like J-D, will be missing.

Kendrick said that all revenue streams are questionable at this point and that the sales tax revenue that J-D takes in may be less than expected.

"The available amount of money is not there," Kendrick said. "We're now just waiting on Albany."

As a result of the potential financial shortfall, the J-D school district is beginning to rethink its spending policies.

"We're going to have a critical eye on expenditures such as field trips and conferences," Kendrick said. "I'm not going to say that we're going to eliminate them, but we will look at them with scrutiny."

Kendrick said the district would try to hold on to all non-discretionary funds. She brought up an example about a vacant maintenance position that the district planned to fill this year. However, due to the current financial climate, Kendrick said the district is not going to fill that position, which will save J-D some money.

Kendrick also said that when a teaching aid resigns, it's protocol for the district to fill that position. However, given the potential upcoming shortfall in J-D's budget, the district plans to talk to the teacher, who works with the aid, to see if it's necessary to replace that position.

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