State aid yields school budget surplus

Superintendent Seth Turner

Superintendent Seth Turner

After adjustments to both the revenue and expenditure sides, the proposed 2014-2015 school budget now includes a surplus of just over $99,000. The school board had initially anticipated receiving just over $19.3 million in state aid, but when the state budget was issued last week, Saugerties learned it would receive over $19.6 million. Additional savings came from a lower than anticipated increase in healthcare contributions and the reduction in three teaching positions. These positions, an English teacher, a social studies teacher and an elementary teacher, will be cut through attrition.

Superintendent Seth Turner said that the surplus was “a good problem to have” and suggested to the board that they apply the monies to the capital fund for facility maintenance. Board Vice President Thomas Ham said that since there is a “substantial list” of repairs that need to be made, he was supportive of Turner’s suggestion. Trustee Florence Hyatt asked for assurance that this would not be at the expense of educational programs. Turner said that although he felt comfortable with the decision, he was certain there would be others who would disagree with him.

The budget, which totals $57,432,984, is set to be finalized by the board at its April 8 meeting. Voters will have the final say at the May 20 budget vote.