OSWEGO, NY – Oswego City School District Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey addressed the 2014-15 budget situation during Tuesday night’s board of education meeting.
He reinforced his comments of an earlier meeting as he indicated there could be a tremendous personnel impact as the result of current revenue and expenditure estimates.
During the past two weeks, Halsey with the cooperation of Business Administrator Nancy Squairs have met with principals and department heads in an effort to reduce spending and review staffing of each area.
He said, “There has been a significant amount of work done to get to the next level” and that there had been approximately $3.8 million in proposed reductions.
Approximately $329,000 in reductions is not “people related.”
He explained the magnitude of the $3 million gap.
Halsey said that the common educational formula would provide $1 million for every 15 positions.
The reductions from the past two weeks of work amounted to 54 positions.
Halsey said, “Am I asking for 54 positions? No! but that is the magnitude of what we are looking at.”
“This would be fully comprehensive and would run across the district. We are building a budget that benefits everyone,” he added.
The new superintendent indicated that he was aware of the “sky is falling” feeling in the past and is aware that this has taken place in the Oswego City School District.
However, he said, “I am confident in our numbers and the $3 million deficit is real. The revenues have not reached the level that had been projected in a while.”
During the March 25 meeting, Halsey wouldn’t release the list of potential reductions. He indicated he promised the various district union officials that he would meet with them prior to making the public announcement in order for the affected employees to receive the information first.
The budgetary numbers could change depending upon further information in relation to the Governor’s budget and final state aid.
More discussion and research will be conducted and on April 8, the Oswego City School District Board of Education will conduct its committee meetings followed by an extensive budget workshop.
Those meetings, which are open to the public, will be conducted at the Oswego High School cafeteria beginning at 5 p.m.
The regular Oswego City School District Board of Education meeting on Tuesday was rather brief.
The board accepted the resignation for the purpose of retirement for Frederick Leighton Elementary School Principal Julie Burger. She has served as the principal for the school since 2007. However, she commenced her teacher career at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School in 1982 and was also a Teacher on Special Assignment for five years as she was involved with the implementation of the technology program.
Nancy Simmons-Henderson and Brenda Getman were approved as teaching assistants in Minetto as were the Winter Guard Consultants Michael Tierney, Ryan Bronner, Alexandria Sivers and Shannon DeSantis.
School Lunch Manager Jane Wagoner was approved as a probationary appointment as was custodian David Jonson.
Authorization was also given for the summer youth program in the buildings and grounds area and several substitute and temporary employees were approved.
Approval was given to authorize a variety of summer grants and overnight field trips were approved for the Oswego High School Winter Guard to Clinton for the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Championships and for the Oswego High School Teen Conference at Camp Hollis.
The board also approved budgetary transfer of funds in the amount of just over $7,000.
The next scheduled meeting of the Oswego City School District Board of Education will be on April 8 at the Oswego High School cafeteria for its regular scheduled committee meetings followed by a budget workshop with the first committee meeting commencing at 5 p.m.