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ELCS budget whittling continues

No staff reductions anticipated

Members of the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Board of Education meet with ELCS administration during a recent budget workshop.

Members of the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Board of Education meet with ELCS administration during a recent budget workshop. Photo by Tim Follos.

— At a March 21 budget work session, school officials said they do not expect to see any reductions in Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School staffing levels next year and that the school district is on track to meet the state’s new tax cap.

Business Manager / District Treasurer Cindy Moody told School Board members that she is confident that she and Superintendent Gail Else can continue to “whittle down” the school’s expected expenditures by finding savings “across the board,” but particularly in spending on salaries and health insurance.

According to the state tax cap formula, which starts at 2 percent before factoring in other considerations, ELCS has a tax cap of 2.54 percent, allowing the school to increase its tax levy from the 2011-12 level of $3,253,746 to as much as $3,336,450 in 2012-13. The latest draft budget shows the school with a tax levy about $100,000 over the number derived from the state cap formula, though the school’s budget is only expected to grow by 1.99%.

Spending on salaries comprises the lion’s share of the proposed budget increase, and state aid to the district is expected to decrease by $75,410 next year, according to the draft budget distributed at the meeting.

Moody said she will attempt to pare projected spending further before presenting a much more detailed draft budget to School Board members at the next work session, which will be held April 4, at 6 p.m.

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