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MCS Superintendent will not propose any further staff or program cuts

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MORRISTOWN – In no uncertain terms, Superintendent David J. Glover said he “will not make a recommendation for a cut” in the school’s budget next year at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

Instead Mr. Glover said the school should apply its fund balance until it runs dry while petitioning for increased aid from the state and looking for more efficient ways to educate the children of the district. He also noted that state aid for the district is expected to decline by $4,000 for the 2013-2014 school year and said the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the state budget could further reduce the school’s allotment.

But Mr. Glover said the school is at a point financially where it has cut everything it can cut and can survive for the next four to five years before it needs to again look at axing staff positions or extracurricular activities.

Mr. Glover said Morristown is currently sitting on a fund balance of $3.25 million in both unappropriated and appropriated accounts.

“We can maintain everything we have today for the next four or five years because we did the hard part up front,” said Mr. Glover of the cuts made by the Board of Education in the past several years. “Now we can focus on our kids.”

“We’re not happy with the cuts we’ve made,” added Mr. Glover, “but we can provide a basic education.”

Mr. Glover is predicting that the school will be left with a fund balance of $114,159 by the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The Board of Education, meanwhile, is looking for ways to better include the community in the ongoing discussion on the prospects of a regional high school.

Following the Dec. 12 community forum where members of the public were encouraged to ask questions about the specifics regarding regional high schools, mergers and tuitioning contracts, Vice President Darrell Merkel said it is important to ensure that information is disseminated widely as soon as possible.

Board Member Mary Ann Bailey said she would like to see a similar forum run with the intention of encouraging students to voice their concerns.

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES ran the Dec. 12 forum and gave the Board of Education a list of the questions raised at the forum.

Already the district, in partnership with BOCES and the Heuvelton and Hermon-DeKalb Central Schools, has hired Philip Martin of Syracuse to conduct a study on the costs and benefits of a regional high school. Part of his job will be to provide answers to the questions raised by the forum.

The study is expected to be completed by June 30.

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