WARRENSBURG-After hearing outcry from the public aired in several public meetings, the Warrensburg Central School Board has restored funding in the pending 2011-12 budget for Junior Varsity sports, cheerleading and several teaching posts.
The spending plan, which goes up for an endorsement April 11 by the Board of Education and a public vote on May 17, calls for a decrease in spending of 3.44 percent from the present year.
The estimated tax levy, however, would increase by an estimated increase of $150,772 due primarily to a decrease in State Aid. This represents a hike of $150,772 or 1.92 percent over the current local tax levy.
Among the faculty and staff posts restored after strong public expressions of support, were a middle-school Technology instructor, a school Psychologist, the greeter at the high school, and a study hall monitor, as well as a special remedial reading teacher.
The budget now expected to go before the public for a vote calls for expenditures of $18,521,841, Warrensburg School District Business Manager Cynthia Turcotte said Monday.
This latest budget revision boosts the amount to be spent in 2011-12 from unreserved fund balances to about $808,524, she said. The amount remaining now in the school's unreserved fund balances is above the 4 percent maximum allowable under state guidelines, and this was part of the reason the school board decided to rely heavier on District savings to fund 2011-12 operations, she said.
"The board proposed drawing more from fund balances in an effort to keep the tax levy down while saving the positions that were earlier proposed for cuts," she said. "But we may have to look at these positions again next year, depending on State Aid."
In addition to the proposed budget, the school board seat of Linda Baker Marcella will also be up for election May 17. The post is a four-year term beginning July 1.
As of Tuesday, no petitions had yet been filed for the position, but Marcella said Tuesday she was intending to file a petition for re-election to her seat.
She has gained a reputation for balancing the community's educational needs with the fiscal concerns of the taxpayers.
Marcella said Tuesday she was open to input from all in the community.
"Decision-making on the school board is not only about the children, but the taxpayers, school district employees and residents also need to be taken into account," she said.
The issues the school board now faces, in the light of financial constraints and spiraling state and federal mandates, are extremely challenging, she said.
"Everybody needs to try to be a part of the solution," she said.
The deadline for filing positions for the board seat is April 18 at 5 p.m.
(Adirondack Journal Editor Thom Randall contributed to this report.)