OXFORD – After nearly four months, the Oxford school board and administration have finished their part of the long, painful budget process. Now the final decision regarding the $17,228,700 budget rests in the hands of district taxpayers.
On Tuesday, the Oxford Academy and Central School District’s board of education approved the latest draft of the district’s proposed budget for the 2009-10 academic year.
“It was a balancing act,” said Superintendent Randy Squier, describing how school leaders did all they could to maintain programs and academic offerings in the school while at the same time keeping the economic concerns of the district’s taxpayers in mind.
The proposed budget represents an increase in spending of $93,637, or .55 percent, over last year’s budget. The impact on taxpayers will be an estimated increase in the tax levy of 2.5 percent.
Keeping the budget largely flat was not merely a matter of keeping spending on par with the current year. With continually rising health care costs and contractual obligations for staff salary increases, significant cuts were necessary.
“It’s not the way you want to have to do it,” Squier said, “but we understand the position the community is in.”
The most painful for the district are staffing cuts necessitated not just by the economic situation, but also the district’s declining enrollment.