Binghamton schools facing millions in cuts

By Chelsea Bishop
By Dave Greber

March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 6, 2013 at 12:21 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG BInghamton) Binghamton's Board of Education on Tuesday began leaning toward a tax levy increase that would barely put a dent in the district's $5.3 million budget gap.

Binghamton City Schools' maximum tax levy increase is 1.89 percent, which takes into account the state's 2 percent tax cap, according to a presentation delivered Tuesday during a special meeting.

If approved by voters later this spring, the levy would raise just $730,497.

It would take the approval of at least 60 percent of district residents to exceed the 1.89 percent tax levy increase.

The remaining shortfall of $4.5 million would likely be made up of cuts to staff and programs, according to Board President Maura Kammerman.

Officials said the situation in Binghamton, is dire.

"We know that with that kind of deficit we're looking at personal costs," said Karry Mullins, Binghamton's assistant superintendent. "No decisions have been made.

Kammerman said board may roll out more details on who or what would be cut in the coming weeks.

Board members met behind closed doors Tuesday to begin those personnel discussions.

The next meeting is set for March 19.