Auburn BOE 11-14

Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education member Joe Sheppard speaks with students who participated in the district's recent jump roping competition at a board meeting Tuesday.

AUBURN — The Auburn Enlarged Central School District is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eliminate the income wealth index floor from the 2018-2019 executive budget proposal.

The district's board of education approved a public declaration Tuesday asking that Cuomo remove the index floor from the budget proposal and to work with the state Legislature to ensure it is not included in the adopted budget.

The index floor of .65 is an element of the district's foundation aid formula for districts that calculates its income wealth relative to the statewide average. Districts with a wealth index higher than .65 get fully funded.

Board president Mike McCole said he and Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo have talked to administrators in other districts about the index. They asked if Auburn has anything like the resolution, which "formally captures the district's sentiment" on the issue. He said the resolution will be sent to other districts.

The district said it has dealt with aid deficits totaling $7.36 million between 2010 and 2013 due to it being designated as a district of moderate wealth rather than being low wealth. The district also said its 2016-2017 wealth index was determined to be 0.539.

Further, the district contends it did not receive further state aid allocations in the 2017-2018 executive budget because of a provision in the foundation aid formula that established a limit of 0.65 in the wealth index. The district said it did not receive $2.2 million in foundation aid it would have received otherwise.

"This is us saying to the governor's office, 'This has to be done,'" Pirozzolo said after the meeting.

In other news: 

• Dennis Taylor, the district's director of instruction, was approved as the acting principal of Herman Avenue Elementary School. Taylor, who has been in the position since Oct. 2, will receive an additional stipend of $5,000. Pirozzolo said the school's principal, Cynthia Lattimore, has been out due to a family illness. The superintendent said the district hopes Lattimore will return before winter break.

Pirozzolo said only certain district personnel can make decisions on disciplinary issues like suspension, so if Taylor has to deal with discipline, he has to call Ronald Gorney, principal for Cayuga Centers, to fill out the proper paperwork. Taylor will now be able to deal with those issues, Pirozzolo said.

• The board approved the district's 2018-2019 budget timeline and the legal calendar for the budget vote and election. The date is set for May 15, 2018.

The 2017-2018 budget, which included a 3.98-percent tax levy increase, was approved last May.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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