Batavia schools to save $1 million

May 24th, 2012    Author: Kristin Bednarski    Filed Under: News

Batavia Local School District will be working to save more than $1 million in an attempt to balance the budget next year.

Members of the board of education approved the five-year forecast for the district during their May 21 board meeting, which detailed how the district will trim expenses and increase revenue by next year.

“It’s just the environment we’re in,” Michael Enriquez, board president, said about making cuts to save money. “We’re trying to not touch the instructional side.”

Michael Ashmore, treasurer for the district, presented the five-year forecast to board members and discussed the changes that he believes can be made to decrease spending and increase revenue.

“We are looking at a $1 million deficit next year,” Ashmore said. “In order to offset the deficit we’ve come up with 24 items.”

Ashmore highlighted several of the major items that can either save the district money or increase revenue for the district to help them balance the budget next year.

He said there are several areas where he believes the district can save money, including limiting minor improvements and transferring $80,000 from the permanent improvement fund, reducing the severance fund by $30,000, saving money on health insurance, reducing repairs to the buildings by 20 percent, reducing costs of materials and supplies by 20 percent and more.

“No one is going to lose a job who doesn’t want to,” Ashmore said about the current plan.

However, he said to save money, the district may not replace teachers who are retiring or resigning and also may not refill several supplemental staff positions.

In addition, Ashmore said the district should see savings return next year in several areas.

He said the district should begin to realize gas and electric savings from improvements they made this year to make the buildings more efficient. He said they should also receive a significant rebate for special education services that they did not utilize this year.

“We also believe we will have some savings in unemployment claims,” Ashmore said.

When it comes to increasing revenue, Ashmore said increasing the individual athletic fees from $125 to $150 will save bring in approximately $7,000 to the district.

“Also, students leave Batavia to do online courses,” Ashmore said.

He said if Batavia provides online courses and draws students back into the district, they could make an additional $71,000.

“We need to track each of these and stay on top of them each month,” Ashmore said about all the items he discussed. “But we believe it is a plan to at least start the year.”

Ashmore said they will track spending and revenue throughout the year next year, just like they do each year, and make adjustments if necessary.

“We’re pretty much to the end of that rope,” Chris Huser, board member, said about the cuts before he approved the plan.

Superintendent Jill Grubb agreed, and said they have made as many cuts as possible to avoid decreasing staff or making decisions that would affect students even more.

“The fat has been trimmed,” She said.

Board members voted to approve the five-year forecast during the meeting, and Enriquez said the next decision they will have to make is about whether or not to include a levy on the ballot in November.

“We have until July to make a formal decision,” Enriquez said.

For more information about the five-year forecast visit www.bataviaschools.org.

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