Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 12, 2013

Budget could see spending increase

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — PENDLETON –– In its current form, Starpoint’s tentative 2013-14 budget increase spending by 2.9 percent. But there’s still a long way to go between Monday’s Board of Education meeting and the May 21 budget vote.

Jonathan Andrews, the district’s director of administrative services, took board members through sections of the budget Monday. The Starpoint board has been looking at the 2013-14 budget in pieces, spending a meeting on a few topics instead of combing through the entire spending plan all at once.

After Monday’s presentation, only costs associated with the Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services remain. The BOCES board meets this week to finalize costs, Andrews said.

So minus BOCES costs, the Starpoint budget currently stands at $42.4 million, a $1.3 million or 2.9 percent increase in spending. But there is still a long way to go, as the budget won’t be adopted until April and residents won’t vote on the spending plan until May 21.

Monday’s meeting went through a variety of areas, including technology, athletics, the central office, textbooks and materials, field trips, building budgets, curriculum and instruction.

Spending for the individual building budgets, field trips, textbooks and materials, curriculum and instruction is all slated to decrease.

Athletics are expected to remain flat, even though Starpoint wants to add varsity bowling. The cost will be offset by cutting the ‘B’ modified basketball teams for seventh- and eighth-grade boys and girls.

Central office costs are expected to rise by $2,608. The district is expecting to spend $13,825 more for technology, Andrews said. 

That’s mainly because Starpoint needs 49 new computers, a virtual server replacement and a disk subsystem array. Aside from the district’s data storage needs, Starpoint will also have to meet new state standards that go into affect in 2015.

Among those include the new state PARCC assessments, which require all state assessments to be taken digitally. For that, schools need to have enough computers for all students to take those assessments at the same time.

”Our machines right now are not compatible,” Andrews said.

Andrews said the board’s next meeting on Feb. 25 would feature BOCES costs as well as discussion about revenue and the tax levy cap.

In other district news, District Clerk Dorothy Frew announced petitions for those wishing to run for the Board of Education are now available at the district office on Mapleton Road. They can be picked up anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by calling 210-2352. Three seats, each carrying a three-year term, are up for election.

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