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North Syr. district budget still unclear

The North Syracuse Central School District held its regular board meeting Monday night to discuss the status of the upcoming 2009-10 school year. Assistant Superintendent of Management Services Wayne Bleau presented the 2009-10 budget status report.

The restoration of the deficit reduction was agreed on by the legislature, which will represent $4.4 million in restoration aid that was also included in the budget draft presented on March 30 during a special meeting. On March 31, the board was informed that the total state aid increased by an additional $890,845.

According to Bleau there is still some confusion on the possibility of strings that will be attached to the IDEA and the Title I funds. The district is scheduled to receive $2,269,000 in IDEA funds and $665,298 in Title I funds.

Superintendent of Schools Jerome F. Melvin reminded the board that, as he mentioned last week, there is a proposed expenditure of $240,390 that will be taken from the IDEA grant to fund six new special education teachers. Five of those teachers will be placed at the junior high school level and a new position will be implemented at Lakeshore Road Elementary School.

After further discussion and the restoration of deficit reduction, the board is hoping to keep its recent prediction of a 1.59 percent tax increase with the new budget soon to be in place.

According to Melvin, if assuming the full $4,400,000 will be restored, it was necessary to reduce the $6,665,000 shortfall by $2,024,610 in order to achieve a tax rate not to exceed the said 1.59 percent.

As of April 3, the district received three teaching assistant notices to retire. Since there is no notice requirement in the teaching assistant contract, Melvin said he expects more retirements. He said this should reduce the number of staff excess.

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