N. Syracuse school board adopts contingency budget for 2011-12

The North Syracuse District School board met Tuesday evening and decided an 8-1 in favor of the contingency budget plan after having the original budget of $136,601,471 voted down on May 17. The adopted contingency budget is $117,000 down from the original proposed budget, making the contingency budget a grand total of $13,484,471.

"The whole process was difficult to the board," said Superintendent Jerome Melvin.

The $117,000 taken out of the original budget consists of $80,000 from the equipment budget, $20,000 of revenue for use of school property by different community groups and $17,000 for raises of non-affiliated administration employees and add-ons.

"You got to be responsive to the taxpayers, but we don't want to make any more cuts to education," said Melvin.

The board will also be holding a special election on June 21 to vote on the bus proposition which was voted down at the original vote last week. If adopted, a bus purchase would cost a resident with a $100,000 home $0.41 a year to fund.

Wayne Boeau, Assistant Superintendent for Managing Services, agreed with Melvin that this budget process has been difficult and emotional.

"We're offering less opportunities for our students. It severely affects their educational experience," said Boeau.

"You get to a point of diminishing returns. We're trying to do everything we can, but when you are looking at 19.7 million in state aid [cut from the budgets] over three years, it's hard," said Boeau.

The contingency budget will still cut 67 positions throughout the district. The property tax increase will be 5 percent, 0.2 percent lower than the original budget.

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