Mohonasen adopts '09-'10 budget

The Mohonasen Central School District Board of Education unanimously adopted the 2009-2010 budget of $42,383,693 on Monday, April 6, but those numbers aren't set in stone.

It's not a typical year in that usually we see an increase in state aid, and this year foundation aid, which is the base of state aid, is staying flat, said Adrienne Leon, spokeswoman for the Mohonasen Central School District.

"The biggest thing with [the budget] is that it's not final. This is the proposal that they came up with to this point, and the board will make a final decision on the 20th."

She said that when Gov. David Paterson proposed deep cuts in state funding for education in December, the district was looking at a potential deficit assessment of $1.5 million.

"That [money has] since been reinstated in the state budget because of the federal stimulus money," said Leon.

The general fund budget increase from last year to this year is 1.068 percent. This translates to a dollar increase of $448,079.

"We're always looking to prioritize and make sure we have the funds to sustain our academic programs," said Denise Swezey, assistant superintendent for business for the district.

Swezey said that over the past three years, the district has worked very hard to become fiscally stable again.

"Three years ago we had virtually no fund balance and the district was in a position where all of our reserves were gone. We've worked very hard to sustain our programs and the standards that are set," said Swezey.

She stated that this is the lowest budget increase and tax increase that the district has seen in the past 5 years.

There have not been any major staffing cuts or program changes, according to officials, but a lot of vacant positions will be unfilled for the time being.

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