The Liverpool School District unveiled its 2013-2014 school budget proposal at an open meeting on Monday night.
Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns discussed the proposal in-depth, explaining how state aid cuts are having a signficant negative effect on the district. The cuts, also known as Gap Elimination Adjustment, are the result of state-level funding shortfalls distributed among school districts across the state. These shortfalls translate into reductions in state aid.
Some parents expressed concern about possible cuts and how they will affect their children. "You don't want to see programs cut," said Elizabeth Griffith, a mother of three students in the district. "You don't want to see one kid have some opportunities afforded to him and then another child not have those same opportunities afforded to them. You want to see more things afforded to them, not less."
"I know with budget cuts, a lot of us parents are concerned about, for example, the music program," said mom Bonnie Krisak. "Both my daughters love the music program here, and we do, too. We just want to make sure that those programs are still available to them."
Board President Pat DeBona-Rosier does not want to see programs or staff eliminated, but, like Dr. Johns, blames much of the district's problems on the state. "Governor Cuomo stood up and he said, 'Oh, I'm not raising taxes,' and he's right," said DeBona-Rosier. "Because what he's done is he's not raising taxes. He's passed it on to us and all of the municipalities. So taxes are going up. He's just nice enough to allow the districts to share and allow the districts to raise the taxes."
The district is now looking to use reserves to fund programs, rather than making cutbacks. It is also focusing on non-personel cuts, such as eliminating late bus service.