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Cazenovia school district budget gap could be $500K this year

‘We’re going to have to cut,’ Superintendent Dubik says

— The district administration began work on the 2014-15 budget in January, and, based on the financial information currently known, Cazenovia faces a budget gap of more than $700,000, Dubik said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2014 budget, released in January, slated a 3.8 percent increase in education funding — of that amount, Cazenovia received an approximate .37 percent increase in aid, or $21,000 more than the current year, Furlong said. Yet Cazenovia will simultaneously lose $1.1 million in 2014 aid because of the state’s Gap Elimination Adjustment program, which takes aid money away from schools in order to plug state budget gaps.

Dubik and Furlong said they have met with district legislators Sen. David Valesky and Assemblyman Bill Magee who have promised to work hard to increase education funding in the state budget, as they have done every year. Dubik said he hopes the legislature will increase Cazenovia’s aid funding by $450,000, but even if the district receives that amount of restored aid administration will still have to make budget cuts of about $250,000. Those cuts could be anything from staff development money to teacher training money to program and athletics cuts to teacher layoffs, Furlong previously said.

Offering more specifics, Furlong said that in addition to the meager $21,000 increase in state aid this year, the district is looking at a $750,000 (or 2.8 percent) increase in spending next year, of which $300,000 of that is solely for special education costs. With the tax levy limit for Cazenovia capped at 1.1 percent under the state tax levy limit law, the district is currently looking at being able to raise only about $184,000 in taxes. Add to that the $21,000 in state aid and the district’s total $205,000 income is not enough to cover the district’s expected costs.

Ultimately, depending on what the state legislature does, the district will face anywhere from a $250,000 to a $500,000 budget gap, Furlong said.

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