Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

January 15, 2013

Starpoint looking to fill gap

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — PENDLETON — With the 2013-14 budget under construction, the Starpoint School District is trying to fill a hole.

Director of Administrative Services Jonathan Andrews presented some preliminary budget numbers to the Board of Education Monday night. Those involved the district’s equipment, special items, debt service and transfers.

Special items include budget lines such as grant writing, community education and private school costs. It’s budgeted to increase by $2,608 or 1.09 percent, to $241,523.

Debt service and transfers are budgeted to go up by $22,712 or .43 percent to over $5.245 million. Equipment costs are budgeted to stay flat, at $29,432.

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

Monday’s presentation included cutting $10,000 from that gap. But, Andrews said, that gap number could change altogether. 

”Pension costs were way beyond what we thought,” he said.

At a meeting last month, Andrews presented board of education members some numbers on staffing.

Andrews said there would be no new staff members hired and no increase in stipends. The staffing portion of the budget is an increase of $416,380, a 2 percent rise from last year. It also trimmed $215,000 from the preliminary spending gap.

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 budget vote will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 21.

In other district news, Superintendent C. Douglas Whelan said 68 middle school students were honored last week as Stellar Spartans. The annual awards are given to students nominated by the staff.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.

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