Turbulent times ahead for Oxford, all New York schools

OXFORD – Oxford, like all of New York’s public school districts, will face tough decisions when drafting its budget for the coming academic year.

“It’s going to take everybody’s input,” Superintendent Randy Squier told members of the district’s board of education on Monday.

According to Squier, anticipated reductions in state and federal aid, coupled with rising healthcare and retirement costs, will leave the district $1,169,000 short based on preliminary estimates.

“We’ve talked about the funding cliff,” he said, reminding the board that Oxford will lose the $832,000 lifeline it was given in stimulus money two years ago under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This will only be partially offset by the $243,000 the district has been allocated under the Education Jobs Bill.

As for state aid, Squier said the “best case scenario” would be for it remain flat. But he wasn’t optimistic that would occur. Minimally, he said, the district should expect a 5 percent reduction.

“The only thing that can save us is that we’re a poor, rural district,” the administrator reported, citing rumors in Albany that wealthier districts would shoulder the lion’s share of reductions.

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