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AVCS 'frustrated' over numbers

Au SABLE FORKS-Paul Savage is frustrated.

The AuSable Valley School District superintendent did not mix any words when talking about a budget situation which could see the district cut as many as 29 positions, including up to 19 teachers.

"Part of my problem and concern is that we have done everything the right way and we have not been taking from the taxpayers to build up an excess fund balance," Savage said during his address to the AVCS school board March 16. "Now, we are being punished by the lawmakers in Albany.

"Am I frustrated that we have to make cuts, absolutely I am," Savage added. "I am absolutely angry about it. This is the worse budget process I have seen in 11 years as a superintendent."

Savage said that the district does not conform to the "generalizations" made in the state budget proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"The major concerns I have with the Governor's general budget statements are that he is unfairly grouping all schools together and painting a picture that all New York schools are in the same category and/or situation," Savage said. "I can assure you that not all schools are in the same financial situation and to mislead the public with such general assumptions only distorts and encourages a negative public view of all educational institutions."

Savage pointed out that the school currently has a fund balance of $492,291, nowhere near the $1,833,284 cut that the district lost in state funding.

He also added that when you factor in the teacher and employee retirement systems, the school is looking at a $2.5 million gap.

Savage said that at the moment, everything is on the table.

"All we really know right now is that we are looking at everything," Savage said. "We are not giving up."

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