School budget cuts 'manageable'

State officials say reductions should not affect quality of education

Due to the upcoming cuts in the 2010-11 New York state executive budget, school districts across the state will experience a decrease in anticipated state aid.

All districts, including those in Central New York, will cumulatively see a $1.1 billion reduction, or 5 percent decrease, from the money the state distributed to schools during the 2009-10 school year.

Specifically, the reductions translate to approximately $2.5 million in the Fayetteville-Manlius school district, said F-M Superintendent Corliss Kaiser.

State officials, however, have said the budget reductions should not affect the quality of education, and, according to the state division of the budget, school "districts should be able to manage these reductions without adversely impacting property taxpayers or educational quality."

Matt Anderson, spokesman for the state's Division of the Budget, said the reductions' impact will vary district by district. As a result, decreases at F-M will be different than those in Jamesville-DeWitt.

Even though the state is reducing aid, Anderson said each school district should have resources built up from the rapid growth years during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"No one wants to cut school aid unfortunately," Anderson said. "It's always going to be difficult, but the message we are trying to get out is that the cuts are tough, but necessary."

Anderson said the cuts are due to the recession, but districts shouldn't take the cuts out of proportion and assume that the state is limiting its investment in education.

"In context, it's only 2 percent," Anderson said, alluding to the $1.1 billion cuts.

So while the cuts are a large number as a whole, Anderson said they only translate to a 2 percent decrease in each district's entire budget. Therefore, the state said most districts can handle the reductions.

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