NORWICH – Most local districts don’t tackle the budget until after the first of the year, but in light of Governor David Paterson’s recent decision to freeze aid payments and the increasing uncertainty about future aid, some area schools aren’t wasting any time in taking a closer look at their fiscal positions.
“We’re not in Kansas anymore,” said Deputy Superintendent Margaret Boice, as she provided members of the Norwich City School District’s board of education with an overview of the district’s fiscal outlook on Wednesday.
“This coming year is going to be challenging,” she reported, as she reviewed a number of factors which play a role in the district’s financial position, including Paterson’s deficit reduction proposals, federal stimulus through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the impact of the increasing demands of un-funded mandates. And then there is the matter of the governor’s decision to hold December aid payments.
According to Boice, Norwich did receive an aid check in December, but it was short by approximately $157,000. There is still hope that the district will receive those remaining funds at some point, she said, if only because of the number of lawsuits filed by a number of different professional organizations.