Afton facing steep cuts

AFTON – The Afton Central School District will face tough decisions this year, as it works to cut nearly $1.2 million from next year’s budget.

“We have to be fiscally responsible knowing the economy,” reported Superintendent Betty Briggs, who said the intention is to keep any tax levy increase to a minimum despite steep aid cuts.

According to the district administrator, the small rural school is slated to lose $480,000 in state aid next year based on Governor Paterson’s Executive Budget Proposal. That’s more than 3.3 percent of the district’s total $14,429,118 budget.

At the same time Afton, like other districts, faces spending increases due to contractual obligations, rising health insurance premiums and retirement contributions. The district must also deal with two other large expense increases as well. According to Briggs, fuel oil expenditures in expected to rise by $99,000. The district has also had an influx of students enrolling in DCMO BOCES Career and Technical Education programs – a total of 49 students this year as opposed to the previous year’s 34. The $86,000 impact will be felt in the 2010-11 academic year. As a result, the first draft of the budget represented a spending increase of 4.5 percent over the previous year.

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