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The Times
  • WCV school budget carries 3.5% tax increase

  • West Canada Valley Central School District voters will be asked to approve a proposed $15,089,196 budget for 2013 – 2014 on May 21.

    Voting will be from 1 to 9 p.m. in the high school lobby.

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  • West Canada Valley Central School District voters will be asked to approve a proposed $15,089,196 budget for 2013 – 2014 on May 21.
    Voting will be from 1 to 9 p.m. in the high school lobby.
    The proposed budget is the result of a great deal of process and multiple board meetings, according a message from the district’s board of education.
    “We believe the result advances and preserves educational opportunities, while protecting our community taxpayers from an excessive burden,” the message read.
    The budget carries a 3.5 percent increase in the tax levy, largely due to increases associated with the New York State retirement system.
    “These and other expenses create a great deal of pressure on the district financially, however, we have been able to avoid these developments from translating into a large tax increase,” the board of education’s message read.
    If approved as presented, the proposed budget would increase spending by $865,196 over the current year’s budget. Specifically, the administrative portion of the budget, which includes costs associated with the superintendent’s office, board of education, financial services and BOCES administrative and capital expenses, would increase by $29,984, while the program portion of the budget, which includes expenses associated with instructional programs, teacher salaries and benefits, transportation costs, special education and instructional supplies and equipment, would increase by $739,061. The capital portion of the budget, which consists of maintenance costs for the buildings and grounds, custodial services, utilities and debt service, would increase by $96,151.
    Overall, the proposed budget represents a 6.08 percent increase in general fund spending from the current year. Revenues are anticipated to increase by $718,277 and the budget calls for the use of $290,764 of fund balance, up from the current year’s $143,845.
    “During the last few years, there have been significant changes in the educational requirements and associated measurements of success. We rely heavily on our instructional leaders to make sure the district has account for all of the necessary changes and they are reflected in our financial plan. New requirements from the Common Core to new teacher evaluation methods place additional stress on time and resources, however, we believe the personnel and financial support are sufficient to meet these obligations,” the message from the board of education read.
    The spending plan does not include staff reductions and does not call for the elimination of programs for students. It includes the addition of a school resource officer to ensure student safety. The new tax rate would be $17.84 per thousand of assessed valuation.
    “West Canada Valley is heavily dependent upon state aid as its major source of revenue. We all know how unstable things can be in state government. This is certainly borne out in the history of education funding where we’ve had our revenue frozen and then cut back each of the last few years. This has necessitated cuts in programs and personnel, as well as the increasing use of the district’s fund balance. However, based on current information, we believe district expenses going forward will be manageable within broad parameters for the use of use of reserves and tax dollars,” the board’s message read.
    Page 2 of 2 - In addition to voting on the budget on May 21, district residents will be asked to elect three members to the board of education. Candidates include Robin Louis, Karen Murphy, Kimberly Farrell, Stephen Keblish and Craig Fehlhaber.
    Anyone with questions regarding the budget is asked to contact Superintendent John Banek at 845-6800 or to email jbanek@westcanada.org.
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