Unadilla Valley stares down huge budget gap

NEW BERLIN – Following a year of unprecedented cutbacks to several programs and the elimination of two dozen positions, the Unadilla Valley School District, like many others, is again facing steep cuts in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget.

Superintendent Robert Mackey said the governor’s projected $706, 397 state aid reductions combined with the disappearance of federal stimulus funds and increasing costs leaves the district with a $1.3 million budget gap in the 2011-2012 school year.

Mackey said the budget cuts are unprecedented in his ten-plus years of experience in school finance.

“We really have to begin looking in earnest at how we’re going to move forward as public schools because these kinds of cuts are simply unsustainable. To say it’s just an economic problem is really not looking as deep into it as you need to,” said Mackey.

“A 1.3 million reduction, you can’t gap that. We’ll look at reserves, we’ll look at the need to cut programs, we’ll look at expanding shared services, we’ll look at reduction of work force. We’re looking at everything we possible can when it comes to cutting costs.”

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