FULTON, NY – On Wednesday night, Fulton City School District Superintendent William Lynch presented the 2013-14 budget to the public at Lanigan Elementary School.
The budget has already been adopted by the Board of Education and the community will be able to cast their ballots on May 21.
People will be able to vote on the budget as well as the two vacant board seats.
Christine Plath and David Carvey are the candidates.
The proposed budget is $65,259,100, and is a 4.6% increase over the current budget.
This proposal also includes a 1.5% increase to the local tax levy.
“We’ve tried two years in a row to stay under 2%,” Lynch said regarding the increase. It’s understood that there is economic strain, however, “We have an obligation to provide for the education of our students.”
The goal when creating the budget was to maintain all programs and services, have a modest tax levy and decrease the district’s reliance on the fund balance, and lastly to create a budget that will be sustainable over time.
“It takes a lot of forethought to make sure the budget is efficient and fair for our students’ education and fair for members of the community,” Lynch said.
In making the 2013-14 budget Lynch said there were two issues to tackle.
The first being “the incredible spike in pension costs, and the other being to fund the Regents Reform Agenda.”
During the hearing Betsy Conners spoke about the Regents Reform Agenda and implementation of Common Core standards.
“Each and every day the students that come to us,” said Conners, “they are not all the same. They have very individual needs and this budget allows us to make sure we can educate them not only to cross the stage and graduate, but also to be successful in college and their careers.”
Both Conners and Lynch were excited to announce that 74% of the adopted budget would go towards instruction, programs, and services for students.
“It’s a good budget to support our learning, instruction, and it’s fiscally fair,” said Lynch.
Though the public hearing wasn’t well attended Lynch said “I just hope people remember to vote. We want a bug turnout.”
The budget vote and school board election will take place on May 21. Polling places will be at each of the four elementary schools and be open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
More election information can be found on the district website, and in the budget brochures that will soon be arriving in the mail.