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NSCSD superintendent announces preliminary budget numbers

During the Feb. 28 North Syracuse Board of Education Meeting, Superintendent Dr. Jerome Melvin discussed the initial budget draft and budget schedule, as well as the creation of two new positions in the district.

Dr. Melvin informed the board that the preliminary 2011-2012 budget is approximately 4.7 percent higher than the current budget, totaling $141,891,182. He said that due to decreased state aid and increases in salaries, employee benefits, BOCES services and fuel for buses, the preliminary tax increase would top 18 percent.

"We've got major problems," he said. "This is the worst budget we've ever seen."

While no changes to the budget were presented to the board during the Monday night meeting, Dr. Melvin said staffing cuts would be announced March 14 during a special meeting.

The 2011 Annual Budget Vote Schedule is as follows:

April 11: A special meeting will be held where the board of education formally adopts the 2011- 2012 budget.

April 27: Budget document mailed to district residents

May 3: Budget public hearing is held for residents to voice their concerns

May 17: District residents vote on the 2011-2012 North Syracuse Central School District Budget

Until April 11, the superintendent, board and district department heads will be working to make cuts where possible to bring down the cost of the preliminary budget.

The board also approved the addition of a temporary "House Principal" at Cicero- North Syracuse High School for the period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 to relieve the burden of managing 2,200 students from one principal, two assistants and a dean. The one-year contract leaves the position open to removal during the 2012-2013 anticipated financial crisis.

The board also approved the creation of a full-time special education teacher at Allen Road Elementary by making one part-time position into a full-time position.

Finally, the board recognized Ken Sherry, English department chair and Andrea Hartwell, special education department chair, on behalf of their staff members for the "outstanding" performance by students on the English 11 Regents exam in January. 694 of 723 students passed the exam, or 96 percent; 542 students received a 75 percent or better; and 93 percent of students with disabilities passed the exam.

The next meeting is at 7 p.m. March 7 in the auditorium of North Syracuse Junior High School, 5353 W. Taft Road.

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