The proposed cuts to Fulton’s state school aid, along with the unchangeable increases in payroll, pensions and routine bills, will take a heavy toll on taxpayers if they want to keep the district’s programs and services exactly as they are today.
Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch has said that the state’s proposed cut in aid, combined with the end of federal job-saving stimulus funds, put the district about $5 million behind last year’s $60 million budget.
Tuesday night, he finally put a number to that gap: 29.5%
To keep everything as is, Lynch said the district would have to raise its tax levy by 29.5% for the next budget.
Obviously, that’s not going to happen, he said.
The district’s budget committee, made up of members of the Board of Education, administrators and members of the public, has begun to review district spending and programs to try to identify ways to save money and set goals.
“We will soon start to identify reductions in choices that will be very different and will likely be considered unfair,” Lynch said, offering no specifics.
Lynch said he and other superintendents and board members are lobbying state lawmakers to keep their promises to reduce expensive mandates on schools.
But he called the budget gap “awe inspiring” and said it would provide the district’s officials with “unfavorable choices” for closing it.