UV budget fails; all others pass

NEW BERLIN – The Unadilla Valley Board of Education will meet tomorrow night to discuss options following the failure of the 2012-13 budget to pass by a 60 percent margin.

According to Superintendent Robert Mackey, the board will discuss whether they will present the same budget or a new budget to be voted on June 19. Another option, he said, would be for the board to make a motion to adopt a contingency budget immediately.

“We’ve talked all along about a contingency budget ... which would eliminate all optional programs such as sports and clubs,” said Mackey. “We’ve asked the voters if they don’t want those things, to let us know.”

Mackey said another option would be to appropriate more reserves, which would cover the cost of optional programs and keep the school from being “educationally bankrupt.” But he warned that doing so would “get us closer to the point where we don’t have reserves to pull from.”

“How I’m approaching it now is I’m trying to find any way I can to present options to reduce spending that won’t further lay off staff or hurt kids,” he said, regarding options to keep sports and clubs available for students. “But we’re reaching a limit of how much more I can do without hurting kids directly.”

Mackey said exit polls in Tuesday’s vote revealed startling conclusions. Of the 72 people who voted no and filled out exit polls, 41 wrote they wanted to see the board focus more on programs that would increase spending, such as electives and half-day programs for 2-3 year olds.

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