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District working to reduce deficit for 2013-14

posted Mar 12, 2013, 9:35 AM by Doreen Dedrick   [ updated Mar 12, 2013, 9:35 AM ]

[February 22, 2013] At the Board of Education’s second Budget Workshop on February 20, Assistant Superintendent for Business Kelly Seibert presented updated projections based on clarifications from the New York State Education Department on tax cap formula calculations and proposed, non-personnel reductions.

Proposed Phase I reductions total $1,822,010 and include:

  • decreased special education tuition spending to be achieved by expanding Ramapo Central’s ongoing efforts to serve more students with special needs in-district;
  • decreased specific extra duty expenses; 
  • elimination of Summer School and Summer Readiness programs;
  • elimination of Homework Club;
  • elimination of all District-sponsored field trips;
  • elimination of the Family Resource Centers;
  • utilities cost savings achieved through the Energy Performance Contract; and,
  • reduced spending on services, textbooks, supplies and equipment.

After discussing the projected tax levy and use of reserves, Board members arrived at a consensus to aim for staying within the cap and limiting the use of reserve funds to $1.5 million pending further information regarding proposed reductions.

With Phase I reductions, use of $1.5 million of reserve funds and a tax levy increase within the cap, the District will still face a projected budget deficit of $5,175,505. 

The next budget workshop is scheduled for March 5 at 6:30pm at the Administrative Offices in Hillburn. Slated for presentation are Phase II and III reductions, which will focus on staffing.

“Other local districts have made difficult reductions over the past three or four years,” noted Superintendent Dr. Douglas Adams. “These are challenges we have to face. Administrators are looking to minimize the impact on core instruction, but it is extraordinarily difficult.”

Community members are invited to attend upcoming workshops to stay informed about the budget development process. Although there is no opportunity for public comment during Board workshops, questions and comments regarding the budget may be expressed during the public comment portion of regular Board of Education meetings and via email (send to budget@ramapocentral.org).