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CV-S Seeks to Close Deficit

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 3/29/24 | 3/29/24

By Morgan Nichols

CHERRY VALLEY — Weeks of deliberation lie ahead for the CV-S Board of Education as they seek a solution to resolve a $400,000 deficit. 

At the BoE meeting on Tuesday, March 19th board members were once again apprised of the situation looming over their heads: resolving a sudden shortage of funds.

School Business Official Denise Wist presented a series of slides showcasing the 2024-2025 budget, which featured the school’s current revenue and a breakdown of the costs of each component of school operations. 

Governor Kathy Hochul’s radically different restructuring of how state aid is distributed statewide has left a void that is just shy of $430,000 in the CV-S budget. Hochul’s new aid plans have removed over $800,000 in available funding from the foundation aid for the district, which can be restored if the new plan is reversed. 

The state currently receives $8.3 million in aid. The projected figure is now $7.5 million. 

Members of the board were quick to identify the “Huge impact on the budget,” as one member put it. Discussions began on how to combat the new deficit. There are multiple options to choose from. Funds can be withdrawn or transferred from several sources to pay for the loss. Some options include the use of funds from the ERS/TRS (Teacher Retirement System), money from the fund balance (total assets minus liabilities), or, most controversially, increasing the tax levy from 2% to 2.8%.

“The impact of a 2.8% (tax levy) is a couple of dollars,” said Ms. Wist. The levy has to pass through a vote that is a 60%, or supermajority vote. The levy will not pay off the entirety of the deficit. Instead, it will cover $45,000 which will lessen the impact elsewhere in the budget. Some members of the board leaned toward exploring a potential increase, but no concrete decision was made. “Some years we’ve been at zero (percent), some at one, we went out last year at 2%,” the board acknowledged. 

“This wasn’t a concern two months ago, or even two years ago,” Ms. Wist said.

Up to $1.6 million is available between the Special Education and BOCES programs. The board is adamant on as little disruption of funding as possible to any academic programs. 

The district is scheduled to hear from the state by April 8th on whether the planned cut remains in place or not. Further discussion of the alternatives is subject to an executive session. A budget hearing presentation is scheduled for May 9th and a vote on May 21st. 

Discussions during the meeting were not limited to the budget. Five students were in attendance to introduce themselves and the community service they had completed. All of the students completed at least one tenure of community service and stated any life lessons they learned from the experience. 

Superintendent Ms. Snyder was happy to announce that a new chemistry teacher had been hired for the school. The incoming chemistry teacher has prior experience teaching middle school chemistry. He wanted to teach high school chemistry, and CV-S will provide him with the opportunity to do so. A physics teacher fresh out of college is also under consideration for a position. 

A short presentation was delivered on the upcoming Senior class trip. Currently, 25 students are signed up for a three-day, two-night excursion to Lake Placid. Plans include exploring the town and Olympic grounds. The trip will then stay in Lake George to spend some time at Six Flags. Transportation has not yet been secured as the quote for a bus currently stands at $8,000 for the entire trip. The cost for students to participate in the trip is $500. 

The CV-S Drama Club is proud to present Disney’s High School Musical JR. March 22-23 at 7:00 pm and a Sunday matinee on the 24th at 2:00 pm. The cost is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and senior citizens. 

Three emergency days have been scheduled to be used: April 8th, April 26th and May 10th. If the emergency days need to be used the 26th will be used first, followed by May 10th and April 8th respectively. 

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