As of Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, the district was looking at a $806,350 gap in the proposed $6.5 million budget as they waited to hear how much extra state aid would be allotted to schools from the state in the new state budget.
This left the question posed by the Board to the Superintendent: In the event the state doesn’t make up the gap, what’s “Plan B?”
The numbers are out and the state did not make up all of the difference. Fulton is looking at a $400,000-$440,000 budget gap. It’s up to the Superintendent to go back to the budget and “look at areas we want to have money to support,”” said Lynch.
The district is currently receiving less state aid than the 2008-2009 budget. However, with the implementation of new state mandates and the Common Core standards, the district is expected to do more with less. The budget must plan ahead for teacher training, purchasing of textbooks, supplies and other documents related to Common Core, and substitute teacher wages as well.
“Plan B” could include cutting expenses and reducing spending at the schools, and withdrawing more money from the reserve fund balance. The goal is to keep the tax levy increase at no more than 1.5%.
Overall, Lynch said the goal of the budget has always been to “maintain programs and extra-curricular activities at the schools, and not take opportunities away from the kids.” The third draft of the budget will be offered to the Board at its April 9 meeting.