Thursday, February 17, 2011
As you might have heard, I presented our initial budget plan for the 2011-2012 school year at our Board of Education meeting last evening. This was by far the most difficult budget for me to discuss as it takes opportunities away from students and reduces staff in response to the Governor's proposal (the Governor has cut state aid to West Genesee by $5.63M for next year).
Last week we met with 62 employees, from various areas, who will not be returning to the District next year in order to close this gap and balance our budget. We also evaluated our reserves and of the $4.425M that we have available to offset taxes, we are using $2.3M to balance the budget. On top of that we are actively discussing a wage freeze for all of our employees for one year. The reductions, the use of reserves, and the wage freeze result in a tax levy of 4.8%. A 4.8% tax levy represents a budget that is $1,611,925 less than this years budget and is also $1,114,866 below a "contingent budget" which is a budget that has not been passed by the voters. A 4.8% tax levy represents an additional $70 on a school tax bill for a home valued at $100,000.
If we are not able to secure a wage freeze, or other factors that we are not currently aware of arise, the Board of Education will have to choose from a list of additional cuts that I provided them last night as well. While I do not endorse or recommend any of those cuts, we may need to consider some of them to balance our budget.
I have posted a copy of the presentation on the District web site Budget Information page at http://www.westgenesee.org/teacherpage.cfm?teacher=1666. If you are interested in our budget and what the impact of the Governor's proposal has had and will have on West Genesee, please take a few moments to read it. The presentation represents everything that I know about the budget environment, the cuts, the tax levy, and further considerations. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.