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Caz BOE presents preliminary 2012-13 budget

Community voices concerns of cuts to staff, academic programming

Cazenovia Central School District residents, students, parents and educators listen as board of education members discuss the preliminary 2012-13 budget during the March 12 meeting. One more public budget work session is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 26 in the large group instruction room of Cazenovia High School.

Cazenovia Central School District residents, students, parents and educators listen as board of education members discuss the preliminary 2012-13 budget during the March 12 meeting. One more public budget work session is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 26 in the large group instruction room of Cazenovia High School. Photo by Pierce Smith.

— At the March 12 Cazenovia Central School District Board of Education meeting, board members and administrators discussed the preliminary 2012-13 budget with more than 40 community members and educators.

This year the district is aiming to close a $412,700 gap within its proposed $25,937,952 budget. Rising costs and decreased state aid has caused a $76,297 increase from the 2011-12 budget. The board, hoping to adhere to the 1.6 percent tax levy limit, lamented to the public that there may be changes to academic programming and number of teaching positions at Cazenovia High School.

“I think this is the first year we’re really going to have to cut something,” said BOE President Fritz Koennecke.

“Certainly everybody is aware of the financial constraints that the state is facing, and with that … the schools have an impact. A reduction in state aid ... adds a different dimension to this year’s budget,” said Superintendent Bob Dubik. “Certainly the administration is sensitive on the impact that it could have on the excellent education programs that everybody is accustomed to. No one wants to make cuts, no one wants any reductions. But with limited resources, we don’t have much choice.”

Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong presented the preliminary budget for those in attendance, outlining 2 percent increases for both health insurance premiums and teacher salaries, the absence of additional state aid and the district’s same amount of appropriated reserve funds as last year: $1.3 million.

The board is tentatively planning on dropping 3.5 teaching positions due to declining enrollment, which will provide $193,000 in savings, members said. Two retirements at this school year’s end will count toward the 3.5 positions, and some currently-employed educators will be moved to different grades.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Donna Fountain was recently offered the position of superintendent at the Hannibal School District. By not refilling her position, the district will save upwards of $60,000. Instead, board members said a part-time BOCES curriculum coordinator will help with routine matters.

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