ESM 2013-14 proposed budget reduces spending, no layoffs expected

— The East Syracuse Minoa CSD Board of Education was presented a proposed budget on April 22 by the Superintendent for the 2013-14 school year that reduces total spending over the current year and increases the tax levy by 2.59% – a result that is well below the district's permissible tax levy cap.

The district bridged a budget gap of approximately $6.8 million by making a number of prudent decisions in a variety of cost centers. Central to this effort was the resolution of a negotiated teachers' contract, which creates a $1 million savings in the health insurance costs for 2013-14, and the inclusion of an additional $1.4 million in State Aid that came with the finalization of the state budget.

Strong long-term financial planning has resulted in the District’s ability to apply $3.4 million in reserves and fund balance to next year's budget.

"Our district has been able to weather this storm in part because we plan and budget carefully with the future of our students always in mind," said Dr. Donna DeSiato, Superintendent of Schools.

Other savings realized in the proposed budget resulted from the reduction of positions due to retirements and resignations, or the savings realized in the replacement of retiring and resigning staff members. These positions come from all ranks: instructional, non-instructional and administrative areas of employment.

There are no planned layoffs in the proposed budget, though a very small number of positions may be restructured by the time the new school year starts based upon evolving needs, BOCES shared-services requests, special education services, and related areas of impact.

The total proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year is $71,813,795, which is a decrease in spending over the current year of (.42 percent). The projected tax levy increase is 2.59%, well below the tax levy cap of 4.32 percent. This will result in an annual increase of approximately $43.94 on a

$100,000 home with Basic Star and a decrease of $3.60 on a $100,000 home with Enhanced Star for Senior Citizens. These rates are based on flat assessments from the current year.

"This is a sound budget that is the results of aligning our resources with our Strategic Plan through collaboration with our stakeholders," said DeSiato.

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