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Local News

March 28, 2013

School officials: State budget could be worse

(Continued)

“Making sure our schools have the funding they need to provide our children with a quality education is one of my top priorities,” Magee said in a media release. Seward said as a member of the joint budget conference committee on education he has worked hard to boost school funding.

“I fought to ensure local schools received their fair share of state aid this year, and were better positioned for future years as well,” he said.

Franklin Central School Superintendent Gordon Daniels said his district will be getting about $150,000 more than expected. It will receive a total $277,000 increase, for a total of $3.1 million. This will help restore the full-time principal position, which is necessary with the state-mandated teacher evaluation system, as well as restore a full-time Spanish position. Both were cuts made a couple of years ago that helped the district prevent its budget gap from growing bigger, he said.

At Delaware Academy Central School, Superintendent Jason Thomson said the district will get about $161,000 more than was anticipated. The total increase is $210,000 for a total of $6 million in state aid for 2013-14.

“We are are happy to see more than expected but we have to be very realistic and cautious,” he said. Factors that go into this decision include the knowledge that the state required teacher and employee retirement payments and health insurance will continue to rise, while the state property tax cap limits revenues other than state aid. At the same time, the district has lost millions of dollars in state aid in the last five years.

“We have to spend this carefully — we don’t know if its a one-time opportunity,” so the budget approved to go before voters will not change, he said. It calls for a 2 percent tax levy increase and cuts of six staff.

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