Dubik discusses upcoming budget with Caz students

— Last week Bob Dubik, the Cazenovia Central School District Superintendent, came to the high school’s Advanced Placement Government class to talk about the upcoming school budget.

The idea here was to draw parallels between the school budget and its deficits alongside the federal government’s budget and its deficits.

The meeting was an opportunity for Dubik to explain to the students the situation that the school is in budget wise. He explained that the school is, as of last week, trying to cut $318,000 from the budget and that they have been in the process for months.

In the past they have been able to make good headway; for example last year they cut $75,000 out of athletic programs and cut some minor coaching positions. Another positive, is that the teachers union has been very cooperative with the administration when it comes to cuts, approving a significant cut to a prescription program for teachers which saved the district a lot of money last year.

One of the things causing this problem is the tax base remains stagnant while others costs rise such as fuel for transportation and rising health care costs (both raising at about 10 percent a year).

Another issue is closely related: enrollment is dropping in our district. Next year our projected enrollment in kindergarten at Burton Street School is roughly 80 students. That is just over half of the senior class this year. The following year, 2013-14, is projected even lower, at about 65 students.

Dubik candidly sought for input from the students, the ones who will be most affected by the cuts and changes.

One of the things most discussed was cutting teachers. A teacher is worth roughly $80,000 a year to the district between salary and benefits. This was put down quickly after the memory of the same attempt last year where many students pushed back against losing specific teachers. The reality here is that you can’t just choose who you want to keep and who you want to fire.

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