Financial outlook looks grim for Norwich City Schools

NORWICH – Norwich’s top school business official painted a grim portrait of the district’s financial outlook for members of the Norwich City School board Tuesday night.

According to Deputy Superintendent Robert Wightman, the gap between the district’s revenues and expenses will only widen over the next few years, as Norwich and its fellow school systems face decreasing aid and rising pension and benefit costs.

The school business official’s first slide illustrated the depth of the district’s dependence on state and federal aid – which accounts for 74 percent of the school’s total revenue in the 2010-11 budget. The remaining 26 percent is derived from the local tax levy.

The good news, Wightman said, is that the district now knows how much it will receive as its share of the Emergency Jobs Bill: $538,000. The bad news? New York’s schools still haven’t been given guidelines for spending that money. Race to the Top funding remains another unknown, he added.

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