The Alden Central School District may be facing tough cuts over the coming months, depending on how budget negotiations in Albany shake out.
Board of Education members Thursday night were presented a proposed budget for 2014-15 that shows a deficit of $282,000.
That is lower than the $500,000 gap Business Administrator Paul Karpik projected in an early look at the budget in January. The change, Karpik said, is due to the district spending less than expected on special education.
The $282,000 gap is based on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recently released budget proposal. Karpik is hopeful that once the budget is adopted, more money may be coming to the district than what is currently projected.
“I’m optimistic we’ll get more state aid,” he said. “Cautiously optimistic.”
In the meantime, Karpik said, the district has to prepare for the worst.
“We’ll work to prioritize what to cut out of the budget,” he said, noting that if more money is made available from the state, some cuts would be restored.
A Superintendent’s Advisory Committee meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the high school auditorium. Community members will have a chance to provide input on what should stay and what should be cut, Karpik said.
“They can voice their opinion on what they want to see in the budget,” he said.
Board member Michael Bennett, who received a certificate of excellence for his work on the board during the meeting, said the district should do more to inform the community that the budget is more than just buying “snowplows.”
“We could show a power point presentation showing good stuff,” he said. “Show people it’s about the kids.”
The budget presentation Karpik gave is available on the district’s website, aldenschools.org, under the budget link.
In other action, the board unanimously passed a resolution calling for the “elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment.” According to the resolution, the adjustment was supposed to be a way to balance the state’s budget by reducing education aid in 2010.
While the adjustment was originally meant as a one-time measure, it has continued in every budget since, negatively impacting the district’s budget, the resolution said.