The numbers are daunting. North Syracuse schools were already facing a budget deficit of $9.5 million and then were told their state aid was being cut by $6 million. It adds up to a $15.5 million dollar budget gap and parents like Carol Pardee wanted the school board to know that taxpayers are tapped out.
"I want my kids to have what I've had in life and if the world keeps going the way it is, they're not going to have it. I feel sorry for the next generation coming up and the schools have got to start thinking about it," said Pardee.
Superintendent Jerome Melvin agreed and said the district will have to make some very tough choices in the weeks ahead. Without any cuts or a change in state aid, school tax rates in the North Syracuse district would go up 23% or about $474 on a $100,000 house. Superintendent Melvin said raising taxes by that amount would be "absurd" and "clearly unacceptable."
"The real challenge in this situation is you have to keep your education program. That's your major responsibility but at the same time you have to be pretty responsive to your residents, to your taxpayers," said Melvin.
Neighbors and parents got their first glance at the challenges the district is facing at Monday night's Board of Education meeting. Former teacher Judith Giacci said she understood the board will have to make cuts and hopes the effect on students is minimal.
"Our children always seem to be the ones that have to pay for our inability to spend correctly or save correctly," said Giacci.
There is a lot of work ahead before a school budget is passed in North Syracuse. A preliminary budget will be presented on February 28th and then discussions regarding possible cuts will begin.
In addition to cutting school aid, Governor Cuomo is also recomending school districts cut administrative costs.
The North Syracuse Central School District is facing a multimillion dollar budget gap.
Superintendent Jerome Melvin is going over the impact of Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget tonight. He says the district is already facing a $9.5 million gap, but with Gov. Cuomo's cuts, that could jump to $15.5 million. Melvin says without budget cuts, taxpayers in the district could face a 23% increase. That's $474 for a %100,000 assess home. Melvin says that kind of increase is unacceptable.
CNYcentral's Alex Dunbar is at the district's meeting tonight. He'll have a full report on NBC3 and CBS5 News at 11:00.