By Carla Kolbe
The Northville Central School district held a public budget forum last month during which some grim facts were released about the upcoming budget.
The district will host a 2011-12 budget hearing in the auditorium tonight (March 2) at 6 p.m. during which superintendent presentations will be made to the school board.
During the February session, Superintendent Kathy Dougherty and Richard Timbs, the district’s project financial adviser, painted a bleak budget picture.
After comparing all expenditures, revenues from every aspect of the districts many facets, he determined the district would be out of money within two years without major changes.
Timbs said the district’s combined wealth ratio rate is working directly against it. With high lake property values, the district is considered wealthy, which results in a decrease in state aid.
The number of students with free and reduced lunches is an indicator of some of the local income issues, if compared to school districts downstate.
With state aid reduced, the burden falls directly on the taxpayers.
“This is not at all the fault of the district, they have done everything to save the taxpayers” Timbs said.
Timbs, who wrote his doctoral theses on school mergers, believes merging the school is only a temporary fix with no overall proof it will save anything. In five years, the money would have to be paid back.
“The numbers do not lie. You are in for tough times” he said.
The teachers union has waived the contract deadline of March 1 to April 1, to notify tenured teachers of job changes allowing more time for the district to work out a plan.
The contract deadline was changed to April 1.
Since the February forum, supervisors and administrators have been putting together budget information to be presented this evening to the board.
To find out more on Timbs’ facts, go to www.statelineonline.org to see where Northville or any other school district falls. Currently there are 232 school districts at risk of closing in two years.