"Currently, most school districts in the state receive significantly less educational funding from the state. Less state aid forces school districts like Baldwinsville (incidentally, state aid comprises approximately half of Baldwinsville's budget) to reduce their budgets. Unfortunately, budgets can be reduced only so far without affecting program or personnel. In Baldwinsville, we have tried to minimize the effect of decreased state aid on program by developing a zero net increase budget from last year's budget. However, these reductions alone cannot negate the total amount of the district's loss of state aid. This forced the district to reduce personnel because it comprises the largest part of our budget. Fortunately, the district was able to make most, but not all, of its reductions through attrition and retirements."
What are the issues facing the Baldwinsville Central School District?
"As you can see, operating a school district in these uncertain times is extremely difficult and requires a great deal of experience, insight and foresight. I have gained this experience during my tenure on the board and due to my experience as an attorney. I hope to use this experience to do my part to guide Baldwinsville through the fiscal uncertainties that we will face over the next few years."
If elected, how do you intend to address those issues?
"I have discussed the most significant challenges that Baldwinsville will face in the future. Unfortunately, I foresee these fiscal challenges continuing for the next three to five years (and possibly longer). The difficulties caused by state aid reductions will be compounded by the recent reduction in the county sales tax revenue sharing, by the possible reduction or loss of real property tax revenue due to an Article 7 tax cert. cased that is ongoing in Baldwinsville and by the loss of federal stimulus aid after next year. The district also faces greater operational expenses due to increases in healthcare costs and retirement contributions. These revenue losses and increased expenses will cause the district to make very difficult choices over the next few years. I will fight to minimize the impact of these issues on programs (our children) and on district employees. Let us not forget that district employees have families and are dependent upon their employment. Dramatic reductions in staffing and benefits will also have a larger effect on our community through the further loss of highly educated people from our region. Reductions in our program that affect the quality of education in our district could harm the greater Baldwinsville community. Unlike other communities, Baldwinsville has enjoyed significant growth over the last few years. The reputation of the school district and the quality of education provided to our children contributes to this growth. Any loss of reputation and quality of education could dramatically harm our community through a loss of growth. I will do my part to ensure that Baldwinsville continues to be a great place to live and does not suffer the same fate as many of the other upstate suburban communities."