Liverpool Central School District: A closer look

Employees, community speak openly about the district

Sitting on the corner of Richard Johns' desk is a manila folder. The folder, which contains about an inch high of paperwork, is his wish list for the Liverpool Central School District's 2010-11 academic school year's budget.

Inside that wish list, LCSD Superintendent Johns outlines his suggestions to upgrade the district's utilities and facilities. The twist to his wish list, though, is that it doesn't account for the status of the economy.

"Those are all the things in the district that if we had all the money that we ever wanted to have, those would be things we ought to spend it on," Johns said about his wish list. "Some of those will find their way into next year's budget. Even in times when you cut, you have to make capital investments. There is truth to the saying that you have to spend money to make money."

But in reality, Johns is aware that nearly three-quarters of his anticipated wishes, such as renovating the district's buildings or replacing obsolete copying machines, may not come true.

As recently as a few weeks ago, Governor David Paterson announced that he would delay the projected mid-year budget cuts in Central New York public schools, which would eradicate $2.3 million from Liverpool's budget, until the end of the academic school year. The postponement will ultimately amplify cuts for the 2010-11 academic session.

In the meantime, Johns is preparing to make the necessary reductions as he constructs his budget proposal, which is due to the Liverpool Board of Education by Feb. 8. Once the board receives it, they have until April 5 to make any alterations and will vote the final budget on May 18.

"I'm anxious to see what he proposes," Patricia Mouton, the board's president, said. "Unfortunately, we will have to face the economic reality as many of our community members and companies have faced. It'll take a good deal of analysis. I will have a difficult time seeing where cuts hurt the least."

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