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Chautauqua Lake board starts to talk budget, cuts for 2013-14

February 27, 2013
By DAVE O’CONNOR - CORRESPONDENT ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

MAYVILLE - Program cuts may be necessary as soon as the next school year at Chautauqua Lake Central School, according to school officials who spoke at a Board of Education workshop meeting Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Reserves for workman's compensation are one of the problems putting pressure on upcoming fiscal decisions, according to business manager Dave Thomas.

"We'll be running out of workman's comp reserves in about two years," he said.

Article Photos

Photo by Dave O’Connor
Chautauqua Lake Central School Board of Education member Tim Hull, left, comments on New York State’s incomplete preparation for implementing the mandated CORE curriculum. Members learned at their Wednesday, Feb. 13 workshop session that some training texts and other materials are not yet available. Also pictured is board member Jason Delcamp, right.

"Historically year-end resources are used," Thomas said, but added these surpluses are "no longer" available.

CLCS is just one of the local school districts facing increased austerity, according to Thomas.

"It's a matter of time before school districts hit a brick wall," he said.

In addition to workman's compensation, CLCS also faces sharply rising health insurance and pension costs. Initial budget projections indicated $1 million deficit for the 2013-14 budget, but Thomas said the gap has been reduced to $800,000 and more reductions will be made.

Superintendent Benjamin Spitzer brought up program cuts.

"We have to cut into areas where we have the most expenses - programs," He said. "It's always easier to talk about trucks, snow blowers, paper and pencils, but program cuts are unpleasant."

Another a topic of discussion was next school year's calendar as proposed by the New York State Department of Education. Albany's schedule would mean students and teachers at CLCS would be taking and administering tests during spring break.

Teacher Marjorie Metzger used the public comment portion of the workshop session to object to the proposed calendar. Board Vice President Jay Baker noted some of the tests are measurements for an entire school year, yet will be administered two months before school ends if the proposed calendar is adopted.

"I'm not privy to how they (New York) schedule the tests," Spitzer said and promised more information "as we move down the road."



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