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Odessa budget is $656K short

ODESSA—The Odessa-Montour Central School District board of education was presented with the preliminary budget figures for the upcoming 2013-14 school year, Thursday, Jan. 24.
Superintendent Jim Frame explained the district is starting the process with a $656,000 budget gap between costs and expected revenue. He said the figures were calculated using Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget released Tuesday, Jan. 22. Frame called it “very preliminary.”
“The governor’s proposal is traditionally the worst case scenario,” added Frame. “It’s not the worst budget estimate I’ve seen.”
He went on to explain Cuomo’s proposed 4.4 percent increase in aid statewide is not accurate. Frame said some of that is connected to competitive grants, which “pits schools against each other.” He added that the state also takes back a percentage of aid under the gap elimination adjustment.
“That’s where we have problems,” said Frame.
Business Official Scott Arnold explained under Cuomo’s proposal, Odessa-Montour would get 1.4 percent more in general aid for 2013-14, or $307,000. He added alternatively, building and BOCES aid would be reduced. Arnold also explained the district might be able to save money on expenses in the current year.
Frame explained the district is looking into the BOCES costs. He said Odessa-Montour has currently cut some services, but has not seen a corresponding drop in costs from BOCES. He explained the issue is being investigated.
Frame said he would give the board more information when the numbers are finalized. He added the district has some reductions already planned.