Liverpool combs through 2010-11 school budget

Straw polls taken on added positions, program modifications discussed

Line by line, the Liverpool Central School District Board of Education discussed next year's budget during the 7 p.m. March 22 regular business meeting.

Board Vice President F. Joseph Unangst presided over the meeting and conducted "straw polls" so the board could determine whether or not further information was necessary before the board votes on the proposed budget Monday April 5.

Discussions included amendments made as of March 22 to Superintendent Dr. Richard Nick Johns original budget proposal.

After several line items were casually polled among the board, Unangst and Board of Education member Donald Cook collectively said that there was an estimated $500,000 in cuts agreed upon within the first 90 minutes of the meeting.

However, of the three Onondaga County Legislature sales tax proposals, county school districts are not included to receive any further revenue after the fiscal year's first two quarters.

With this downfall, Cook said the board must explore further cuts to gather an additional $540,000 within the budget. As a direct result, the district's current tax levy went from an increase of 2.18 percent to 2.97 percent.

The Board of Education also reviewed the district's technology plan. Originally, Dr. Johns proposed the district make a one-time purchase of $1.98 million for technology infrastructure in 2010-11.

Now, the board is tabling a possibility of leasing the first year, 2010-11, at a rate of $1.98 million or less.

Collaborating, the board began forming a conclusion that whether or not the initial amount was lowered, the district is still juggling a higher tax levy because of the "almost definite" loss of county sales tax revenue.

"We have not spent in technology in the last five years," Unangst said. "We're behind in technology."

With the loss of revenue, the board would need to identify an additional $712,000 in order to obtain the infrastructure.

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