WCS board tackles budget cuts

Discussions of the 2010-11 spending plan of Warrensburg Central District continued March 15, as the school board's budget committee heard the final component of the budget, BOCES and Special Education expenditures. The 2010-11 allocation for Special Education is $2.2 million, an 11.9 percent reduction from last year's cost, or $208,000.00 less. This figure includes a $69,000 reduction saved by abandoning distance learning programs. Other reductions include bringing four students back from BOCES to the Warrensburg campus amongst 42 students now in the Career Technical Education program. In 2010-11, the GED program will be taught in-house with an anticipated enrollment of about four to eight students per year for grades 10 through 12.

In addition to the BOCES program reductions, several students now going out of district for special programs will be brought back to the Warrensburg campus, saving about $153,000 total per year.

Superintendent of Schools Tim Lawson said the 201`0-11 budget spends down nearly $1.9 million of the fund balance, socking away some of it towards future expenses to help keep the budget increase as near zero increase as possible.

The proposed budget totals $18.96 million, which is a 1.74 percent decrease in expenditures.

While this tentative budget represents a 1.24 percent increase in the tax levy, without thisdraw-down of fund balance, the increase would be 4.43 percent.

Lawson stated that these figures are preliminary, subject to change in the next several weeks as the budget drafting process continues. He added that the forecast for 2011-2012 state aid does not look favorable.

The next budget meeting will be held on 6 p.m. March 29, and public questions and opinions are welcome. The next full school board meeting is set for April 19.

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