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Morristown Central School adopts 2014-2015 budget

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MORRISTOWN — The Morristown Central School Board of Education adopted a $9.87 million budget on March 27, a week after it voted down the district’s first budget proposal.

The new budget will increase six part-time teaching positions to full time: health and physical education, English, math, social studies, technology and music, at a cost of $80,000, Superintendent David J. Glover said.

The previous budget proposal would have bumped up only the math teacher position to full time. The current version of the budget also will add a full-time elementary school teacher to the school’s staff, thanks to increased class sizes.

Mr. Glover said of the new budget proposal, “I think in the end it will do good for kids.”

The budget represents an increase of $823,322 over the 2013-14 fiscal year spending plan and includes a 1.7 percent hike in the district’s tax levy, bringing the total to about $3.5 million.

Mr. Glover said the school will apply $1.26 million of fund balance in the new budget if it is approved by voters — nearly $200,000 less than last year’s appropriation.

The decrease in reliance on fund balance is due to a slight increase in state aid, Mr. Glover said.

In total, Mr. Glover said, the district will have an estimated $3.7 million in reserves left at the end of the current school year.

“It’s 2017-2018 that we’re looking at having no fund balance left,” Mr. Glover said, though he noted that estimate is very fluid and could change depending on the level of state aid in coming years.

This year, the district will receive $242,194 more state aid than last year. “It’s better than zero and it’s better than the cut years,” Mr. Glover said of the increase.”

Speaking about the roughly $800,000 increase in expenses projected for the next school year, Mr. Glover said besides employee health insurance and benefits, the biggest driver is special education.

“We want those kids to be successful,” Mr. Glover said, noting that there have been several new students requiring additional services moving into the district over the past few months.

The public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 12 at at the school. The budget vote will be held from noon to 9 p.m. May 20 in the main lobby.

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