Superintendent’s Message: Factors Impacting the 2013-14 Budget
Each New Year brings with it a new budget. To start on a new budget for 2013-2014, we begin by looking at a “rollover budget” that will maintain all current programs, services and staffing. There are many pieces of the budget that have yet to fall into place but this much is already known: If all current programs, staffing and financial commitments were rolled forward to 2013 – 2014, adjusted for the cost of living, expenses would increase by nearly $2.4 million. At the same time there is no expected increase in state foundation aid.
As the budget process progresses, we will be talking about the tax levy “cap” that was imposed by the state last year. This cap limits our primary source of revenue and has already impacted academic programs, services and staffing. While North Tonawanda stayed within the tax levy limit last year, an option is available to school districts to exceed their limit. In such a scenario, approval from a supermajority of voters (60%) is required for the budget to pass.
As we explore sources for additional revenue, we have been looking at how to use some of our assets. One avenue we have pursued is selling underdeveloped district-owned land and school buildings that are no longer needed to meet the long-term needs of the district. The buildings would include Gilmore Elementary School which closed due to decreasing enrollment last year, Grant Elementary School which closed over five years ago and the district’s Administrative Building on Humphrey Street which would be relocated to unused space in another building owned by the district.
Superintendent of Schools