The following was issued this morning by the Lakeland school district…
A decision by the Lakeland Central School District Board of Education last year on the refinancing of some of its bonds and an energy performance contract will save the district more than $340,000 in the 2012-2013 school budget.
The Board of Education and administration are currently working on the 2012-2013 school budget which will go before voters in May.
The Board of Education’s decision to refinance a number of construction bonds last year will result in a savings of $293,563 in debt service costs for the coming school year. The bonds included construction bonds from 2001 and 2002. In addition, the district saved an additional $51,343 in interest costs on refinancing its Energy Performance Contract.
“If you remember, last year, the district refinanced the serial construction bonds and now it is coming back to help us,” explained Assistant Superintendent for Business Ray Morningstar.
The information was presented at the Lakeland Board of Education’s second budget work session on February 2. The administration presented the technology, benefits and debt service portion of the budget at that meeting. That portion showed spending in these areas will be down by 1.86% in the budget as it currently stands. A budget overview and the first part of the budget were presented January 5. The topics at that meeting included the operations and maintenance, transportation, and general support portions of the budget. That portion shows a 0.72% decrease in spending.
In his overview in January, Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Stone said the overall budget will not increase in 2012-2013. The district will be bringing in a budget that has a tax levy that will not exceed the state-mandated 2% tax cap, he said. “In other words we will be proposing no increase in the total budget to budget amount. In today’s economy that is as responsible as we could possibly be. The tax levy increase will stay below 2%,” said Dr. Stone. However, he continued, given the fact that a zero increase in the budget would mean a 4% tax levy increase, the district will have to look at a combination of reductions and revenue increases.
The Governor has proposed a state aid package that will give the district approximately $800,000 more than last year. If the state aid figure remains at that level, the district will need to make an additional $1 million in reductions to meet the tax levy cap.
The third in the four meetings will be held Thursday, March 1 at the Lakeland Administration Building beginning at 7:00 pm. The topics for that meeting are the instructional and special education budgets.