Eastern suburbs: A brief overview of proposed school budgets

Fayetteville-Manlius School District

The Fayetteville-Manlius proposed 2010-11 budget is $74,020,753 -- up $505,847, or .69 percent, over the current budget year. If voter-approved, the tax levy would increase 1.89 percent to $51,556,141. Because property assessments are not expected to increase next year, district officials predict tax rates would also increase, on average, by 1.89 percent.

The board approved the budget at its April 12 meeting.

"We heard two things from our community," said Superintendent Corliss Kaiser during the board meeting. "Do not change the quality of our programs (because) our children are doing well. And try to keep taxes reasonable."

According to the district website, when school officials began planning for the budget, they were projecting a $75.9 million budget with a tax levy increase of nearly 7.5 percent. The following is a list highlighting some of the cumulative cost-savings and reductions that officials imposed to get the proposed budget to where it now stands:

$810,000 in debt service. The district has paid off several loans

$482,000 in health insurance. Employees are paying more for drug co-pays.

$310,000 in instructional salaries. The equivalent of 3.3 teaching positions were cut by reducing hours of some employees and recent retirements allowed for replacements

$236,000 in BOCES services. One dedicated position was eliminated and contracts were scaled back.

F-M propositions

The Fayetteville-Manlius School District is working toward a 10-year school bus replacement program, under which the district would replace seven buses each year. According to the website, replacing buses before they reach 10 years old reduces repair expenses, increases fuel efficiency and supports standards of on-road bus safety.

This year's ballot item will ask voters if the district should purchase seven 70-passenger buses at a cost of $748,538. Another ballot measure voters will see asks if the district should create a capital reserve fund not to exceed $5 million. A capital reserve fund -- which most school districts already have in place -- would allow the district to set aside money for future construction projects and major purchases. The measure does not approve any capital projects, it only creates a savings account to prepare for future capital spending.

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