Ti school board seeking budget help

TICONDEROGA - Facing difficult budget choices, the Ticonderoga Central School board of education is asking for help.

The board is forming a budget advisory committee that will include representatives of stakeholder groups.

Superintendent John McDonald said the committee will include three members of the public - one from Ticonderoga, one from Hague and another "at large."

Also serving on the committee will be representatives of the Ti Parent Teacher Organization, the teacher association and the non-instructional union.

The school board has asked the Ticonderoga and Putnam town boards to recommend potential committee members, McDonald said. Interested people can also write a letter requesting a spot on the committee. Letters should be mailed to the Ticonderoga Central School District at 5 Calkins Place, 12883.

McDonald expects the school board to formally appoint the budget advisory committee during its February meeting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will submit his state budget Feb. 1. That document will give school districts an idea about state funding and kick off the formal budget process.

The Ti budget advisory committee is expected to meet once a month or more, if needed, until the budget vote May 17.

McDonald said the budget process will likely be "extremely difficult" as the district deals with increasing costs and dwindling revenues. The Ti district, like many others, has made cuts to staff and programs the past several years, leaving little wiggle room in the budget process.

"I don't know where we go from here," McDonald said, noting the school budget has no frills. "That's part of why we need this community input."

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