NSCSD outlines additional cuts to proposed budget

— On June 18, 2013, voters in the North Syracuse Central School District will be asked to vote on the district’s revised budget proposal for the 2013-14 school year. The revised proposal includes a property tax levy increase of 3.45 percent or $2,621,388 compared to the 2012-13 school year.

The district’s original budget proposal called for a 5.33 percent tax levy increase, which was above the district’s calculated tax levy limit, or “cap.” Because the original proposal exceeded the tax levy limit, a supermajority (60 percent) of voter approval was required by law. That proposal was defeated on May 21 with 54 percent approval.

At its June 3 meeting, the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education adopted a revised $143,525,985 budget proposal that includes a tax levy increase at the district’s tax levy limit of 3.45 percent. Because the proposal does not exceed the tax levy limit, it requires a simple majority (more than 50 percent) to pass.

The revised proposal includes the following reductions:

One building administrator position at Gillette Road Middle School;

One part-time administrator (the director of music and art);

Two professional development positions at the district office building;

Seven elementary positions at various locations;

Ten teaching assistants at various locations;

Elimination of the NSJHS 8.5 academic assistance program;

Sixteen percent of the district’s athletic department budget, including eight teams and 24 coaches;

Sixteen percent of the district’s co-curricular (clubs and activities) budget;

Pricing concessions from current health care providers; and

Curtailment of bus camera project.

Additionally, the following items proposed in the district’s original budget will not be added:

One school resource officer;

One school social worker;

Three academic intervention service teachers.

If residents vote down the budget a second time, under the new tax levy limit law, there can be no increase — $0 — in the tax levy. In other words, North Syracuse would have to levy the same amount of taxes as in the current year without any increase to cover rising state pension costs, contractual obligations or other mandated programs.

This would mean the district would make an additional $2,621,388 in cuts. The following cuts would be made:

Elimination of all athletic programs;

Elimination of all extra-curricular activities;

Elimination of additional teacher positions, which would result in larger class sizes at all grade levels; and

Cuts to administrative staff and support services.

Visit the district’s budget website at nscsd.org/budget for additional information.

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