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F-M outlines $74.47M preliminary budget

Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents look on as Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi, left, gives an overview of the budget situation at a forum held Feb. 7 at Eagle Hill Middle School Library.

Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents look on as Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi, left, gives an overview of the budget situation at a forum held Feb. 7 at Eagle Hill Middle School Library. Photo by Ned Campbell.

Fayetteville-Manlius School District administrators Monday night presented a $74.47 million preliminary budget for 2012-13 — a .62 percent increase from 2011-12 — that would eliminate seven full-time equivalent positions through either staff cuts or attrition.

The district is faced with an expected decrease of $929,443 in state aid compared to 2011-12, a 5.36 percent drop — should the state Legislature approve Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget — and a loss of $268,373 in county sales tax revenue. This means F-M started the budget building process $1.2 million in the hole.

To make up for the loss in revenue, the district is considering making $765,077 in reductions, which includes $426,225 in cuts to staff, $75,000 in cuts to BOCES positions and $70,000 in cuts to custodial/maintenance contracts. The plan cuts all supplies by 10 percent for a savings of $95,322.

Superintendent Corliss Kaiser told school board members and about 20 residents gathered at Eagle Hill Library on Monday, Feb. 13, that the budget upholds the district’s philosophy to “reduce, don’t eliminate.”

“That’s been the motto for four years and it’s been working,” Kaiser said.

“And I mean this. We look at every tiny little thing, if it’s a tenth of a position — but we add up the tenths of a position.”

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi said the seven full-time equivalent staff reductions are “based mostly on enrollment shifts, where you’re not going to have a need for certain positions.”

He noted that athletics has been a hot topic at recent budget forums, and assured those in attendance that the preliminary budget maintains all current F-M athletic programs and teams.

“But the supplies and contractual budgets are as low as they can go,” he said.

Superintendent Kaiser remarked on the school board’s recent approval to hire a full-time school resource officer — a police officer that will enhance safety and security district-wide starting in the fall.

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