continued According to Dyce Faucette, if the levy is only increased 2 percent, a minimum of 95 positions will have to be eliminated. Using the state tax cap calculations, the minimum tax levy increase for the district is 4.78 percent.
Possible expenditure cuts being proposed are teachers, support staff and programs, specifically athletic, extra curricular and elective programs.
In being as transparent in the budget process as it can, the district is “building trust and letting the community know we are being frugal in our funding needs,” Dyce Faucette said.
Once the final budget is presented and put up for vote May 15, the fate of the district will be in the taxpayers’ hands.
“If our budget fails, we can put it up one more time,” Keegan said, adding if a budget fails twice there is no contingency budget to fall back on and districts now will be held to a 0 percent increase from the previous year.
A 0 percent increase for North Syracuse would amount to $9.2 million in cuts and upwards of 200 positions eliminated.
“It’s time for us to differentiate ourselves from other districts. A zero percent increase would devastate us,” BOE President Pat Carbone said.
With the challenge before the district to trim and cut costs down to make it more palatable for taxpayers, administrators called out for the support of the community during the process.
“There is no way to not pay school taxes. We have a really, really good thing here,” Carbone said. “We have to figure out the best way to educate our kids that’s most cost effective.”
The board will hold additional meetings to discuss the proposed budget at 7 p.m. March 12 and 26 and April 16. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 8.
The board will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. March 5 in the auditorium of the North Syracuse Junior High School, 5353 W. Taft Road.