Updated 06/01/2011 11:01 PM
J-E board reviews new budget with lower tax increase and fewer cuts
It's the last school district without a budget in Onondaga County, but now, a team of BOCES financial experts have put together a school district spending plan for Jordan-Elbridge. As our Katie Gibas reports, the process that usually takes months has been crammed into just four days.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- It's been just a few weeks since the Jordan-Elbridge community overwhelmingly voted down the school district's proposed budget. Now they're looking at a new, drastically improved budget.
"We hope that now that some of those issues have been resolved and there's a little bit of time between that last vote and what we're discussing that we can come together both as an administrative team, school board, community staff, and really get to the bottom of moving forward with the district," said William Speck, the Jordan-Elbridge Interim Superintendent.
BOCES officials along with the interim superintendent presented a draft of their revised budget Wednesday night. It calls for a 4.2 percent tax increase and fewer proposed cuts.
"Every person in central office has been working to harvest data, to look over data, to ensure the accuracy of the data, to run a number of drafts," said Speck.
"The budget that was defeated called for a 7.3 percent tax levy increase and 29 position cuts. While the current draft is just that, a draft, both the board and community members can agree it's a step in the right direction."
"We needed another set of eyes on our budget, our proposed budget. We need more money for our children, so if there is any possibility in increasing our staff, outstanding. For four days work, they've done an amazing job," said Lisa Long, a J-E Board Member Elect.
Even though residents say they're pleased with the new budget, they're still angry with the board for approving the initial proposal. But District officials say the information they received Wednesday is drastically different from what the former interim superintendent presented to them a couple months ago.
The board will have to decide before June 15th whether or not to put the new budget out for a vote or adopt a contingency plan. A revote would be held June 21st.