MORAVIA | After a second round of voting, the Moravia Central School District was able to pass a revised budget Tuesday night for the 2013-14 school year, saving the district from having to adopt a mandatory contingency budget that would require more than $500,000 in additional cuts.
In a vote of 794-399, the community approved a budget of about $19.77 million, down from the original proposal of about $19.94 million that was voted down on May 21. After the first proposal was rejected, the school board returned to the drawing board and made about $169,000 in cuts, which included the entire district staff coming forward and agreeing to a freeze in pay for the upcoming school year.
The revised budget also lowered the suggested tax levy increase from 9.97 percent to the revised amount of 7.49 percent. Because the revised amount fell below the tax cap of 7.97 percent, only a simple majority approval of 50 percent plus one was needed to pass this budget, compared to the 60 percent voter approval needed for the previous proposal.
Superintendent Michelle Brantner said Tuesday night that she was grateful to the district's staff for offering to accept a pay freeze and for supporting the school board throughout the budget-making process.
"We were very fortunate to have our staff step forward like that," she said. "It preserved programs for the kids and prevented more spending cuts."
Because of the freeze in pay that the staff agreed to, the district was able to avoid making any additional cuts to staff or programming and will now also be able to opt out of the pension smoothing alternative, which Brantner said was not something that would be a benefit in the long run.
Brantner also expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the community for coming out to vote and showing their support for both budgets.
If the budget had again been voted down, the school board would have been forced by state mandates to adopt a contingency budget that would have required a 0 percent tax increase and resulted in the elimination of all extracurricular activities, including athletics and music.