FORESTVILLE – The Forestville Board of Education is facing a budget gap of $577,767.
Carolyn Robertson, business administrator, presented a detailed report on the proposed spending plan for 2014-15 during a work session held Thursday in the school library.
She said the preliminary plan could still have several revisions and could be changed with an increase in state aid but that board members will need to look at cutbacks as well as ways to raise additional revenue to balance budget.
She is proposing an $11.98 million budget for next year. The bulk of the budget is wages at $5.12 million and benefits at $2.43 million.
Other operating costs would bring the increase to $496,063 over the current plan.
The current teachers’ contract is under negotiation and this may change the wage costs for the district next year.
Robertson said that last year several teachers retired, which helped to reduce the expense for wages and benefits. She said the administration is not aware of any retirements for next year. Teachers have until April 1 to request retirement prior to the next school year.
The district will plan to eliminate the position of head bus driver due to a retirement. The savings is listed at $57,000. Forestville shares the transportation director position with the Silver Creek district and contributes $40,000 towards the salary for the position.
The preliminary budget includes one new high school teaching position and one part-time elementary classroom monitor position. It also includes a part-time information and technology assistant through BOCES at $30,000.
Robertson told board members that special education costs can fluctuate a great deal from year to year. She said the district is anticipating about a $215,000 increase for next year. This includes the tuition and transportation to send students to other schools for instruction.
Maintaining a tax levy within the tax cap as proposed by the state would bring the district about $52,000 in additional revenue, according to Robertson.
She said board members could look at using reserve accounts and cutting areas in the budget to try to reduce the gap in the preliminary budget proposal.
Budget committee members will meet again on March 20 to review cuts and other issues.