The Grand Island School District is looking at a budget gap of $1.5 million as it begins to prepare its fiscal package for the 2013-14 school year.
Joseph Giarrizzo, assistant superintendent for finance, said at Monday’s Board of Education meeting that there are still many unknowns at this early stage, including what the mandated increase for the Teacher Retirement System will be.
Giarrizzo said revenue projections for the estimated $53.2 million budget “reflect what was proposed by the governor in his executive budget proposal” last week.
“Most of our preliminary estimates were accurate except for the overall increase in general aid through the GAP Restoration Adjustment,” he said. The district projected $197,000, but Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed $141,000.
He said the adjustment imposed by the state reduced the aid the district is entitled to by formula by slightly more than $2.1 million.
Giarrizzo noted the governor’s budget proposal included an item that could have an impact on district pension costs, but there aren’t enough details yet to suggest its benefit to the district.
In other business, the School Board:
• Set a deadline of Feb. 11 for people interested in the board seat vacated by the Jan. 7 resignation of board President David Goris to send in a letter stating their interest to district clerk Janet Schuster.
• Delayed until Feb. 11 a decision on a new board president. Paul Krull, board vice president, is presiding at the meetings in the meantime.
• Announced that a field of 39 applicants for the superintendency has been narrowed to 10. Working with its consultants, the University of Rochester Warner Center, the board plans to have three to four finalists, all of whom will also be interviewed by 12 representatives of district PTAs, the community, school-related professionals, teaching and administrative staffs. The board plans to appoint a new superintendent by the end of March, Krull said.
• Agreed with a recommendation from interim Superintendent Paul Hashem to revisit its policy on the hall walking program that allows the community to use the high school hallways for exercise in the evenings.
The program had been run through the district’s Community Education Department. Participants paid $20, and the fees were used for a monitor who provided some security.
The program’s number of participants has dropped from about 40 to six since a change last year, which eliminated the fee, which meant there was no longer a monitor.
The change led to confusion over walking routes, security, and even where to hang coats and change shoes, a participant said.