Lisa Green, the district's business manager, went over a review of the 2018-2019 budget at a board of education meeting. The district's maximum allowable tax levy limit is $31,274,768, Green said, which is a 1.58-percent increase over this current year's. That 1.58-percent figure is the highest the district can raise its levy without requiring a 60-percent approval from voters.
Current budget assumptions include the idea that the district is going to see a 1.58-percent property tax increase, which is equal to the tax cap and that the district will receive state aid equal to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed school aid projections for the 2018-2019 executive budget, announced in January. That number will be revised when the final budget is adopted, Green said.
Other budget assumptions include a $1.32 million planned use of reserves, two Auburn Junior High School classrooms operated by Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES will be brought back in-house, with Auburn district staff in them, which would save the district $125,000 next year, plus a minimal increase in operating expenses. Green said the district is looking at a preliminary deficit of $3,980,559. Subtracting that figure by that planned use of $1.32 million would bring the district to a budget gap of $2,660,559, Green said.
Closing that gap could be assisted through possible additional aid when the state passes its final budget, Green said. Green said other options include reducing appropriations or using some additional reserves — while the latter "may not be the best option, it is an option," Green said.
In other news:
• Auburn Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said district employees that were previously at Cayuga Centers have now been relocated to other positions within the district. The ending of Cayuga Centers' residential treatment program was announced on Feb. 22. Pirozzolo said at a March 6 budget workshop that his plan to keep those jobs was to turn those 19 employees into long-term substitutes, meaning those that were long-term substitutes would lose their positions. Cayuga Centers staff taking those substitute spots means that those employees with seniority won't be pushing other district staff out of their positions — which was a possibility brought up at a Feb. 27 board meeting.
• Cheryl Miskell, the president of the Auburn Teachers Association and a teacher with 30 years of service in the Auburn district, is set to retire by the end of the school year. Miskell's retirement was approved along with 11 other retirements by the board. Miskell, who attended the meeting, said she will leave her union post by year's end. Miskell said both of her children now live out west, so she and her husband will be moving to Seattle. She said the time is right to leave.
"Its not easy, but it's time. I'm ready to start the next phase of my life," Miskell said.