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April 4, 2013

CV-S plans to approve 2013-14 budget tonight

Staff Report
Cooperstown Crier

---- — CHERRY VALLEY

Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School has considered several options for its 2013-14 spending plan and is expected to approve a budget at tonight’s board of education meeting. 

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. According to Superintendent Robert Miller, the district has positioned itself well over the last several years, and is proposing only “modest cuts.” 

The plan is to cut a .5 science and .5 French, due primarily to declining enrollment, according to Miller. The district is considering a second section of Pre-K and implementing information technology classes at the secondary level.

Miller said the district continues to work on the staffing needs for 2013-14 and works to provide the best educational programs at the lowest cost. The school must continually assess its programs to assure that they are aligned with its mission of providing the children of the community the education they will need for a lifetime, he added. 

Miller will be leaving CV-S next month to take on superintendent duties at Herkimer Central School.  During the March 21 board of education meeting, Miller presented a second draft of a 2013-14 budget to the board, cutting about $80,000 from the first draft. The savings came from a reduction of summer school services, the elimination of one clerical position in the guidance office and additional savings in energy costs.

At that time Miller said he was optimistic that there will be additional money coming from the state. He made several suggestions to the board about how to use the money, including presenting plans for giving a tax rebate, keeping taxes flat or continuing to raise taxes. He told the board that he favors giving some money back to the taxpayers. 

“I wouldn’t suggest you give it all back, but I would suggest you give some of that back to the taxpayers,” he said. “You want to have goodwill with the taxpayers. You also want the people in Albany to see that you are (being good stewards).”

Miller said he will leave the board with an open-ended problem of Medicaid billing. Schools are expected to do the billing for Medicaid reimbursement for school-based health services; however, the schools only get a quarter of that reimbursement. The state gets 50 percent of the reimbursement and the counties get 25 percent; the schools get 100 percent of the expenses.

Because of this problem, Miller said, CV-S, like many schools, is not billing and can not afford to do it. However, he said he expects the state to eventually demand the billing be done because it wants its share of the money.