Today, June 18, 2013, voters in the North Syracuse Central School District are voting on the district’s revised budget proposal for the 2013-14 school year. The revised proposal includes a property tax levy increase of 3.45 percent or $2,621,388 compared to the 2012-13 school year.
The district’s original budget proposal called for a 5.33 percent tax levy increase, which was above the district’s calculated tax levy limit, or “cap.” Because the original proposal exceeded the tax levy limit, a supermajority (60 percent) of voter approval was required by law. That proposal was defeated on May 21, 2013 with 54 percent approval.
At its June 3 meeting, the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education adopted a revised $143,525,985 budget proposal that includes a tax levy increase at the district’s tax levy limit of 3.45 percent. Because the proposal does not exceed the tax levy limit, it requires a simple majority (more than 50 percent) to pass.
The revised proposal includes the following reductions:
• One building administrator position at Gillette Road Middle School;
• One part-time administrator – the director of music and art;
• Two professional development teachers at the district office building;
• Seven elementary positions at various locations;
• Ten teaching assistants at various locations;
• Elimination of the NSJHS 8.5 academic assistance program;
• Orchestra will now begin in 4th grade;
• Sixteen percent of the district’s athletic department budget including 8 teams and 24 coaches;
• Sixteen percent of the district’s co-curricular (clubs and activities) budget;
• Pricing concessions from current health care providers; and
• Curtailment of bus camera project.
Additionally, the following items proposed in the district’s original budget will not be added:
• One school resource officer;
• One school social worker;
• Three academic intervention service teachers.
In light of its current financial situation, the district will continue to look for efficiencies that will yield a budget savings. For example, the district will not be purchasing uniforms for athletic teams next year.
On June 11 at 7 p.m., the district is holding a public hearing on the revised proposal at the Jerome F. Melvin Administrative Office Building. All members of the community are encouraged to attend and learn more about the proposal. From 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 18, residents will be asked to vote on the revised proposal.
If residents vote down the budget a second time, under the new tax levy limit law, there can be no increase – $0 – in the tax levy.
In other words, North Syracuse would have to levy the same amount of taxes as in the current year without any increase to cover rising state pension costs, contractual obligations or other mandated programs.
This would mean the district would make an additional $2,621,388 in cuts. The following cuts would be made:
• Elimination of all athletic programs;
• Elimination of all extra-curricular activities;
• Elimination of additional teacher positions, which would result in larger class sizes at all grade levels; and
• Cuts to administrative staff and support services.
Despite our financial situation, the North Syracuse Central School District provides outstanding opportunities for our students.
• 86% of 2012 graduates attended post-secondary institutions;
• C-NS has twice been named one of America's Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post;
• C-NS offers more than 40 AP and college credit courses;
• The RRMS Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra and the NSJHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble each earned first place honors at Darien Lake Music Festivals;
• The NSJHS Advanced Orchestra competed and took top honors in Holyoke, Massachusetts competition;
• 91 students received 2012 CNY Scholastic Art Awards;
• The C-NS Performance Engineering Team took 1st place in the 2013 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas;
• Girls’ basketball team won its fifth consecutive Class AA title and claimed the Section III championship and 3rd State Final Four;
• 16 NSJHS students participated in the Onondaga County Music Educators Association Junior High All County Musical Festival;
• Boys’ golf team won Class AA title, one golfer a state champion;
• Girls’ softball team won: CNYCL, Section III, and regional championships and advanced to State Final Four;
• Boys’ baseball, girls’ field hockey and indoor track teams won CNYCL Championships;
• Approximately 2,200 student athletes playing on 73 teams; and
• Winter Guard: gold medalist at February regional, finalist at Rhode Island regional, silver medalist at Northeast championships, gold medalist at Mid-York championships, top 24 in the country at National championship in Dayton Ohio.
We will continue to provide the greatest opportunities possible for our students. We welcome your participation in the June 18 budget vote. Please visit our budget website at www.nscsd.org/budget for additional information.
Please click the link below to download a fact sheet on the district's revised budget proposal.
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