Canton schools face $2.5 million gap in budget
Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 1:42 pm

North Country This Week

CANTON — Canton Central School’s preliminary 2019-20 budget shows a $2.5 million gap between expenditures and revenue.

The total revenue is anticipated to be $29,027,245, according to CCS Superintendent Ronald P. Burke. The anticipated expenditures total $31,575,149.

“We are proposing the use of $2,147,904 from this year's fund balance and $400,000 from reserves to balance the budget,” he said.

The preliminary foundation aid amount shows an increase of $186,504.

Burke said the tax cap is 2.88 percent and the draft budget calls for this to be the proposed increase.

Since 2013-14, the budgeted expenses have consistently exceeded anticipated revenue by an average of $658,000 per year, he said

“Just this current year, the expenses exceeded revenue by $1.45 million. More to the point, in this current budget, the expenses increased by 6.2 percent while revenue increased by 0.1 percent,” Burke said.

As school officials developed the budget for next year, the budgetary shortfalls of prior years are having a compounding effect.

“We have carefully examined the historical expenses of every line item to ensure that next year's proposed budget is accurate,” Burke said. “While attempting to properly balance each line, we have also strived to maintain a comfortable fund in highly unpredictable areas such as utilities, fuel, health insurance, equipment and special education.”