UV adopts budget; parents want to know about sports

NEW BERLIN – The Unadilla Valley School Board unanimously adopted the 2010-2011 budget at a meeting Thursday, in which a number of students and parents raised concern over cuts to sports programs.

The board’s proposed $19,614,309 budget represents a 3.25 percent reduction in spending from last year and will call for no raise in the local tax levy.

The budget may also include the elimination of 23.5 positions and provides no funding to several sports and programs. The board postponed adopting a budget Monday so the district’s staff could make voluntary contributions of paid days-off to help offset the reductions.

Superintendent Robert Mackey said the amount of the contributions has not yet been tallied, but would impact some of the educational programs and possibly restore some positions currently on the chopping block.

Many attending last night’s meeting were eager to hear of the specific cuts to programs, but board members and administrators said they had few details to offer.

“Our current budget just reflects the total amount of money the community is going to vote on and what we are going to spend as a school district,” said Board President William J. Lyons. “There are still many moving parts in that total number that need to be put into place.”

“Today’s target was a total budget figure. We have to create a target without knowing a revenue stream,” said Mackey.

“That’s the concern – what happens next year when we lose the federal stimulus, have another million dollar-plus shortfall between rising costs and lost aid. We don’t have as many options next year to regain funds as this year,” Mackey said, stressing the importance of having a sound financial plan in the years to come.

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