A 'challenging' gap to fill for Vestal schools

By Erika Mahoney

February 27, 2013 Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Vestal Board of Education is charged with closing a nearly $2 million budget gap.

That means cuts for one of the area's largest districts are just around the corner.

What will have to go is still being decided, but Superintendent Mark LaRoach said they are getting closer to a specific strategy.

LaRoach said the budget difference -- similar to other Southern Tier districts -- is driven by a combination of shrinking state aid and increasing costs for state mandates.

This week, the board examined more closely how the district spends its money, and will cut based on the findings.

Like most local superintendents who face similar challenges, he said it's another tough budget season.

"It's not pleasant when we are in a reduction mode, but it's a challenge we are going to meet," LaRoach said.

What Vestal residents will have to pay for their next tax levy still needs to be decided, although officials said their maximum allowable tax levy increase stands at 3.5 percent.

Their next board meeting is set for March 12.

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