Fort Plain BOE adopts 2012-13 budget
The Fort Plain Central School District Board
of Education unanimously adopted the $18,600,000 school budget for
2012-13 on May 15. The proposed spending plan, which calls for a
year-to-year spending increase of 2.48 percent, would carry a tax levy
increase of 0.99 percent. The spending plan goes before voters on May 15.
The proposed tax levy falls under the
district's calculated tax levy limit under the new tax levy
“cap” law. That means the proposed 2012-13 budget will require
approval by a simple majority of voters to pass (50 percent plus 1).
To see a PDF of the instructional budget,
The Board of Education crafted the proposed
budget with a goal of maintaining programs without increasing taxes
above the district’s tax levy limit (sometimes referred to in the
media as a "2 percent tax cap"). As a result, the proposed spending
plan includes no significant changes to the district's academic
And despite the increased costs associated
with employee health insurance and New York State Retirement System
contributions, the proposed budget avoids deep staff and program
cuts such as those the district made over the past few years to
address funding shortfalls.
"We have been cutting from the budget all
along," said Superintendent Douglas C. Burton. "We are by no means
out of the woods, because ultimately, the state needs to change the
way it distributes aid to public schools. But for the upcoming year,
the board has crafted a budget that keeps programs intact without
raising taxes over the tax levy limit."
To further reduce the need for program
reductions, the proposal calls for the use of $850,000 in the
district’s savings to help offset cuts to state aid. Fort Plain
received a slight increase in foundation aid (the basic aid provided
from the state) for 2012-13, but the state cut $803,409 in aid
because of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which is a reduction in
state aid applied to all school districts in an effort to close the
state's structural deficit.
The spending plan also proposes to limit the
local tax impact by:
Eliminating one elementary teaching
position and one physical therapist position,
Again no longer offering junior varsity
fall and spring sports and reducing modified winter sports to
one combined level,
Continuing to eliminate field trips,
reducing spending for textbooks, and
Eliminating new equipment purchases.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will
be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, in the Jr./Sr. High School