Johnsburg Central School
After the regularly scheduled School Board meeting this past Tuesday March 11, Johnsburg Central School Superintendent Michael Markwica and Business Manager Kathy Spring gave a budget presentation to the board.
They explained that the initial starting budget for 2013-2014 year was $10,282,394. This would have been an increase of $584,462 from the approved budget for 2012-2013, which had been $9,697,932. However, after carefully evaluating costs and taking a proactive approach to reducing them, the district is now looking at an increase of 2 to 2.3 percent from the previous year’s budget. This is only around half of the tax levy’s allowable increase of 4.26.
Spring and Markwica emphasized that have been diligent and conscientious in eliminating and reducing costs as much as possible every new budget year while working hard to maintain the quality of education for all students.
“Part of the budget process is to not just think about last year and this year, but to think about changes that have been made during the past several years, while also looking ahead to what our needs may be in future years,” Markwica said.
•Guidance Counselor/CSE Chairperson, $106,359
•Health Insurance lower than projects, $59,250
•No bus purchase, $107, 795
•Fewer Occupational Education Students, $18,304
•Various miscellaneous areas of budget reduced, $55,823
•Family PPO Plan, $23,173
•Safety Specialist 1 day per month reduced, $6,335
•Retiring teacher/teaching assistant, $27,555
There will be a budget hearing on Monday, May 13 following the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting. The budget vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 from noon to 8 p.m. outside the school gymnasium.
Spring also noted that this year they are doing budget workshops differently. Areas of the school budget are organized into “cost centers” which group related expenses into categories of spending. This makes it much easier to understand budget presentations and to see how the costs in each budget area have changed.
During the regularly scheduled school board meeting, Johnsburg School Board members accepted the letter of intent to retire at the end of this academic year from Darlene Urbonowicz. Superintendent Markwica said that Urbonowicz has been a highly valued member of the Johnsburg Central School for 20 years. She began working in the Special Education Department in the high school, before moving to the Kindergarten and then the Preschool. Markwica said she had made wonderful contributions in all roles at the school.
Several seniors who attended the meeting noted that they remembered her fondly from their kindergarten days. These seniors were attending as part of an activity for their Youth and Government Club. They had just returned from a weekend in Albany participating in the WMCA organized Youth and Government program.
Johnsburg senior Shannon Ovitt explained that during the weekend they and Youth and Government Clubs from other schools out act all branches of the government. She has been a member of the club since grade 9, so this was her fourth trip to Albany for the Conference.
“We try to encompass all the elements of the government as much as possible over three days in order to recreate the actual experience of government in action” Ovitt said.
She added that “Over the past four years I’ve learned so much about the inner workings of our government, all the intricacies and subtleties involved in getting things done, it’s something that every citizen in a democracy should get to experience and appreciate.”
Matt Wells, who teaches a class on Government and 9th and 10th grade Global History, and Colleen Murtagh, who teaches 6th grade, are the advisors for the Youth and Government Club advisors at JCS.
The next Johnsburg School Board Meeting will be held on March 25 at 7 p.m. in room 126.