March 15, 2004

Next year's school budgets look tight already

The Dryden Courier's March 10 issue leads with some difficult news about the Dryden Central School District's budget: mandates, inflation, health insurance, and retirement costs could inflict an 8.9% increase in in the budget (and larger increase in the tax levy), even with a zero increase in most budget lines and losing four teachers because of an expiring grant.

The Courier cites district Business Manager Teresa Carnrike as estimating that owners of homes assessed $100,000 in the district would face a $394 tax increase, even after increased assessments and state equalization rates are taken into account. A drop of $300,000 in state aid last year followed by an increase of only $30,000 expected for this year hasn't helped the overall situation, nor does $114,000 in spending required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

The Courier concludes by noting that the board asked adminstrators to cut this proposal by an additional five percent.

The Ithaca Journal reported similar though slightly less dreadful budget difficulties for the Ithaca City School District a few weeks ago. (You should make certain to read the correction as well to get the numbers straight.) While the Dryden rollover budget would increase the tax levy 18.44%, the ICSD's rollover budget only increases the tax levy 6.8%. Still, even keeping the tax levy increase to 5% means $950,000 of cuts to currently funded programs and services.

Posted by simon at March 15, 2004 10:08 PM in , ,
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