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April 13, 2010 - 1:03pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Board of Education.

The Batavia School Board met in the John Kennedy Elementary School cafeteria last night. Left to right: school board members Gary Stich and Gail Stevens, and BHS senior Sahil Jain, student ex-officio.

The superintendent of the Batavia City School District says a key goal of the proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year is to make cuts as need be "without hurting any student programs."

Yet it calls for fewer coaches and their support staff, and cutting teaching positions in each core subject as well as three aides. Decreased enrollment in secondary schools is partly to blame, according to Superintendent Margaret Puzio. There will be no transportation provided for summer school either.

The good news is that BOCES will be getting a 15-percent increase in funding.

Overall, Puzio said the school district projects a "flat budget" for the upcoming fiscal year, meaning minimal or no increase. Certain cuts to be made in order to make room for investments in other areas, according to the trustees.

District Business Manager Scott Rozanski attributes the stable budget to conservative financial practices in recent years, the availability of budget surpluses and the district's decision to pay for some expenses -- for example, construction work on the Administration Building's roof -- with reserves. These factors balance out with a slight decrease in state aid to keep the overall budget where it is now.

Here are some highlights of the budget meeting:

  • Almost all extracurricular and athletic activities that are now available will also be available next year. However, there may be fewer assistant coaches and support staff.
  • Some changes are going to be made in the elementary summer school programs. Transportation will not be provided for kids attending summer school; they will need to either walk or be driven by their parents. This year, summer school will focus exclusively on improving the reading skills of at-risk students and will consist of small classes. There will be six teachers in each school -- Jackson, John Kennedy and Robert Morris -- and a lot of small-group interaction.
  • Because of a significant decrease in enrollment projected at the secondary level, there will be staff cuts in each core subject. Puzio said that there are only about 160 students in the upcoming sixth grade class. The cuts will only effect teachers with the lowest seniority, and they will not lose their jobs if there are retiring teachers in their subject areas.
  • Three teacher aide positions will be cut, one from each elementary school.
  • There will be a 15-percent increase in the funding of BOCES services, including special, alternative and occupational education, and technology. Rozanski said that the district cut some technology expenses last year; this year, it will be able to "put new purchases back in and move forward with the wireless trend."

The budget's tax-rate information depends on factors that remain to be seen, and will therefore not be available until the fall.

The board unanimously approved the 2010-2011 budget, as well the election of BOCES Board Members. It also approved keeping the student ex-officio stipend so that the board will always have someone to keep them informed on what goes on in the schools.

The public can vote on the school board's budget from noon until 9 p.m. May 18 at one of three locations:

  • Jackson Elementary School, 411 South Jackson St.
  • Robert Morris Elementary School, 80 Union St.
  • Batavia Middle School, 96 Ross St.

Voters must live in the Batavia City School District and be registered to vote.

For more information, please contact the board office at 343-2480. 

ADDITIONAL NOTE

As the meeting came to a conclusion, Puzio distributed a letter from Genesee Valley BOCES Superintendent Michael Glover regarding Governor Patterson's school-aid cuts. According to Glover, these cuts affect less wealthy Upstate districts significantly while unfairly privileging wealthier Downstate districts (he cited Nassau County, Long Island, as an example). For more information on this, contact Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium, at 315-749-3637, or e-mail <[email protected]>.

From left, board members Steven Hyde and Pat Burk, and Bobbi Norton, assistant to the superintendent.

April 5, 2010 - 8:09pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, events, schools, Board of Education.
Event Date and Time: 
April 26, 2010 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Batavia Board of Education will hold a regular meeting in the Board Office Conference Room, 39 Washington Ave., beginning at 8 p.m., Monday, April 26. All are welcome to attend.

At 7 p.m., an hour prior to the public meeting, the board will meet in closed session.

For more information, please contact the board office at 343-2480, ext. 1000.

April 5, 2010 - 8:05pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, events, schools, Board of Education.
Event Date and Time: 
April 12, 2010 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Batavia Board of Education will hold a special meeting in the John Kennedy Elementary School cafeteria, 166 Vine St., beginning at 8 p.m., Monday, April 12. All are welcome to attend.

At 7 p.m., an hour prior to the public meeting, the board will meet in closed session.

For more information, please contact the board office at 343-2480, ext. 1000.

March 15, 2010 - 5:34pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, events, Board of Education.
Event Date and Time: 
March 22, 2010 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Batavia Board of Education will hold a regular meeting at the board office, 39 Washington Ave., beginning at 8 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

The board will meet in closed executive session for about an hour, beginning at 7 p.m. The public meeting will begin afterwards.

For more information, please contact the board office at 343-2480, ext. 1000.

March 2, 2010 - 12:30pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, events, Board of Education.
Event Date and Time: 
March 8, 2010 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Batavia Board of Education will hold a "special meeting" at the board office, 39 Washington Ave., beginning at 8 p.m., Monday, March 8. All are welcome to attend.

At 7 p.m., an hour prior to the public meeting, the board will meet in closed session.

For more information, please contact the board office at 343-2480, ext. 1000.

March 9, 2009 - 8:06am
posted by Tasia Boland in batavia, schools, Board of Education.

The economic downfall continues to leave Margaret Puzio, Superintendent of Schools, and the School Board of Education studying their options carefully as they create a spending plan.

According to the New York State Executive Budget  the Executive Budget will provide $20.7 billion for School Aid in 2009-10. It is a decrease of 3.3 percent from last year.  The site says without this budget cut the Executive Budget proposal for 2009-2010 would have been $2.5 billion higher than what was originally proposed.

Margaret Puzio, Superintendent of Schools stated in the A+ Batavia Communicator, “The Board of Education has asked the district to keep expenditures well below the contingent budget cap of 4%.”

Puzio writes the budget deficit has caused a pause in all state aid, along with a further reduction in a form of a Deficit Reduction Assesment.(DRA).

The board is waiting to make a final budget, hoping to receiving aid from the Federal Government.

“Right now, we do not know the impact the Federal Economic Stimulus Bill may have on education aid,” writes Puzio in the newsletter, “And so we prepare a budget that protects our programs both curricular and extra-curricular and remains mindful of the community’s needs.”

The board plans to adopt a tentative budget at the Board of Education meeting March 16, 7 p.m. at the Administration building.

June 23, 2008 - 3:31pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in education, Board of Education, Patrick Burk.

Congratulations are in order for one of our favorite guest posters: Patrick Burk, president of the City of Batavia Board of Education.

Patrick was recently elected as the president of the Genesee Valley School Boards Institute, a nine county organization that represents over 70 upstate school districts.

From the press release:

The purpose of the organization is to promote and train school district support personnel in the areas of Food Service, Transportation, Teacher Aides, Safety & Security, Educational Clerical and Facilities. Training Conferences are held annually in these areas in the nine county area.

"I am pleased to once again be serving nine counties in Western New York as we strive to continually train our educational support employees," Burk stated. "It is by far an honor to be chosen to represent our member districts. This is just one way that we all can work together to improve and enhance our districts."

May 19, 2008 - 2:26pm
posted by Patrick D. Burk in technology, taxes, Board of Education.

Another quick reminder.....School Budget Votes and School Board Members Voting is tomorrow in the City of Batavia.   Board Seats held by Wayne Guenther and Steve Hyde are up for Re-Election, there is no challengers.  Steve and Wayne have both done the office of Board of Education Member proud.  I hope the community comes out to support them. 

We also have the budget, which cuts the current tax rate by 2% or more and allows for the expansion of curriculum and the continuance of our award winning technology programs.  Batavia City School District is getting top grades for being one of the BEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS in Western New York.  All of our buildings (BHS, BMS & 3 Elementaries) recieved passing grades of distinction from New York State.  In short we are doing a fine job with the education process while realigning and reducing the tax burden on local residents and businesses. 

Also on the ballot is the approval of the 5+ Million Technology Budget that will add to the Security of all buildings as well as update current technology to include wireless and other outlets.  This will allow more students on computers at the same time and result in a better adaption of technology in the classroom.  Now here is the glitch....this has to pass by New York State Law by 60%.  I  have no clue why Small City School Building Projects need the 60% threshold while others only need 1 vote more in favor...but the fact is, we do.

With all that being said....please come out and support the Batavia City School's Budget, its Board of Education Members and the Technology Project.  It is the least we can do for our kids.  We appreciate your support.

 

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