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Proposed Liverpool school budget revealed

During the recess that began at 8:25 p.m., a WRE student and her mother went to the auditorium lobby to fill out a form so they could ask Johns why the elementary school would be closing.

Denise Baird, a former WRE student and a 1984 graduate of LHS, said she moved back to the area to have her daughter Tabitha, 9, attend the same elementary school as her.

"I was heartbroken," Denise said about hearing the news of the school closure. "I feel like I have been crying all week."

Tabitha, a WRE fourth grader, insisted on filling out the form so she could ask the question.

"I would miss all my friends, and my nice bus driver, and all my teachers," Tabitha said.

The board of education provided numerous forms for the community members to fill out in order for taxpayers' to have their questions answered.

Although BOE Vice President F. Joseph Unangst told the crowd that every question would be answered, he also said there was a chance that some questions might need to be answered at another board meeting.

Because the superintendent's proposal must be discussed extensively, Unangst said there will be more chances or taxpayers to ask questions before the final budget is put together.

The main points of the proposal are the following:

1. Create a sustainable budget.

2. Smooth out technology budget.

3. Bring Elementary program to 97 percent enrollment capacity.

4. Restructure Liverpool High School.

The $10.3 million gap

Johns discussed the $10.3 million shortfall that cannot be cured by making "small deviations in line items." In his estimate, this represents an 8 percent shortage in the budget.

There are three factors that caused the tremendous shortfall, according to Johns. The cut in state aid that Johns believes is about $4.4 million, health costs and pension costs are the main reasons for the shortfall.

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