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North Syracuse budget fails

— Voters in the North Syracuse Central School District rejected the proposed $144 million 2013-14 budget Tuesday, forcing the district to rework the proposal before presenting it again next month.

North Syracuse had requested a 5.33 percent tax increase. Voters rejected the budget by a margin of 1,989 to 1,680, which didn’t reach the required supermajority for approval.

The presented budget would have brought full-day kindergarten to the district. It also called for the elimination of 14.5 positions. The district has cut more than 200 positions in the last five years.

North Syracuse’s budget was the only budget in Onondaga County rejected by voters this year.

In addition, Catherine Cifaratta-Brayton, Mary Scanlon and Patrick Svoboda were elected to the board of education, receiving 2,028, 2,470 and 2,515 votes, respectively. Sandra DiBianco was not reelected.

Superintendent Dr. Kim Dyce Faucette acknowledged that this was a difficult budget year.

“North Syracuse felt the impact and was forced to make some very difficult decisions in its budget deliberations,” Dyce said. “We know that our voters had to do the same thing today … this was not an easy decision for anyone. Of course we are disappointed that the proposed budget was rejected. But we will take this feedback, reconvene and move forward toward a successful budget that provides the best education possible for our students.”

Board of Education President Pat Carbone echoed Dyce’s statement.

“We knew that attaining 60 percent approval would not be easy,” Carbone said. “While we are disappointed at the outcome, we will use what we have learned and take the next steps to provide a budget that the community can support and that ensures our students receive a great education.”

If the board of education opts for a revote on June 18 and that budget is defeated, the board must adopt a budget with a tax levy no greater than what was levied the previous year, a $0 increase. This would mean the district would have to make an additional $4,047,682 in cuts, including the elimination of athletic programs and extra-curricular activities; additional administrative cuts, including the assistant director of special education; a school resource officer proposed in the budget would not be added; a social worker proposed in the budget would not be added; and the elimination of additional teacher positions, which would result in larger class sizes at all grade levels.

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