Binghamton Schools Calls for Cuts

By Erika Mahoney

Binghamton Schools Calls for Cuts

February 13, 2013 Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 1:00 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Cuts in positions and reductions in programs are ahead for the Binghamton City School District, officials said Tuesday.

The district is facing an anticipated $5.3 million gap in their $98 million budget.

As with many neighboring districts, increases in state mandated costs are leading to this gap, school leaders said.

Even with a projected increase of $1.6 million in state aid, the district is looking at a projected $1.6 million increase in the teacher retirement system. They also face a projected $2.2 million increase in health insurance costs and a projected $1.4 million increase in salaries.

"It's very concerning because it is going to mean a reduction in people," Assistant Superintendent Karry Mullins said. "We've cut over 100 positions in the last three years and we are going to have to look to cut more. That hurts the organization and our schools and our kids."

Budget talks are still in the early stages. Many details still need to be determined including what the tax levy limit will be.

That, in addition to a closer look at expenditures and revenues, is scheduled for their board meeting March 19.

But the budget isn't the only thing on the minds of school leaders.

Also Tuesday, the board voted to place the rebuilding of MacArthur Elementary before voters in a referendum.

The school was damaged beyond repair during the September 2011 flood.

The public vote will take place April 15, with a public hearing scheduled for April 8.