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The Pioneer Board of Education heard a presentation on the  final three areas of the proposed 2019-20 general fund budget, and got a first look at the overall spending picture. 


Assistant superintendent Nick Silvaroli gave his final presentations for a proposed $57,316,941 general fund budget for 2019-20. He said Salaries & Benefits make up the largest component of the budget at 64 percent and are driven by labor contracts with the district’s unions. This area of the budget represents a carry-forward of current staff and takes into account retiring staff. Health insurance rates are expected to rise 3 percent.


Under staffing changes, the proposed budget allows for the addition of 1.0 FTE (full-time equivalent) High School Guidance Counselor currently contracted through C-A BOCES.


Mr. Silvaroli said that current enrollment is 2,482, and the next several classes of kindergarten students are expected to average 160-165 students, based on census figures.


Next year’s budget for BOCES services, for which eligible expenses are aided at 74.4 percent, is slated to rise 4.89 percent to $7,349,672. Increases in that area include a $78,000 hike in Career & Technical Education costs, $102,000 for computer services, and $93,000 in special education.


Transportation, which is 90 percent aidable, has no increase in a $3.3 million budget. Debt service, which includes principal and interest payments on outstanding debt, shows a minor change of 0.20 percent.


All told, the proposed budget stands at $57,316,941, an increase of 2.20 percent from the current spending plan. The difference between district expenses and the governor’s proposal is $368,545, which Mr. Silvaroli said he didn’t feel all that bad about. He said last year the gap was closer to $1 million. He said the State Legislature often restores funding, and he expects final figures to “get us close enough to make it work.”


A further update is scheduled at the next regular meeting on March 19. The first tentative review of the final budget is scheduled for the April 2 regular meeting, and April 16 is the target date for final board adoption.

See a summary of the Board meeting