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Starpoint begins 2013-14 budget process

BY: Rikki Cason | December 30, 2012

The budget process is underway at the Starpoint Central School District for the 2013-2014 school year.

Director of Administrative Services Jonathan Andrews presented board of education members with the district’s budget goals and financial factors they would be facing.

“We certainly want to provide a fiscally prudent school budget,” said Andrews. “Our goal is to continue the programs we have but be as responsible as possible.”

For the 2013-14 year, Starpoint will look to eliminate an additional $950,000 from it budget. For the 2012-13 year, $1.6 million was cut, in order to present a 1.26 percent tax rate increase.

Andrews said there would be no new staff members hired, a zero percent increase in stipends and most overtime will be kept at zero.

The staffing effect on the budget is an increase of $416,380, a two percent rise from last year.

Other potential items affecting the staffing budget are contract settlements, changes in federal and state grants, enrollment size for kindergarten and if the district offers a retirement incentive.

Hurricane Sandy could also have an effect on next school year’s budget. Andrews said because the state spent $42 billion on the storm, it may possibly delay the 2012-13 building aid because the state has a cash shortfall. It could also have an impact on the amount of state aid the district will receive for 2013-14.

The fiscal cliff will present a loss of federal grant funds, which currently covers 15 full-time positions, approximately $600,000 in salary.

Andrews said Starpoint continues to follow their five-year plan to work through these “difficult financial times.”

“We have a supportive community that values education,” said Andrews. “We’ve gone over a decade with out a budget defeat.”

The 2013-14 budget vote will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 21. Voting will take place in the middle school gym and three board of education seats will be for election.

In other district news:

• Superintendent C. Douglas Whelan said the district is going to take a look at the bus loop at the high school and consider making it one way.

He said they want to look at congestion patterns and will consider different drop off points for sports teams.

• Starpoint received approval from the state for their APPR plan for the teachers and principals annual performance reviews.

The plan had to be submitted in July, and if not approved, they would have lost $408,000 in state aid.

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