Clymer OKs 2014-15 School Budget

CLYMER – The proposed Clymer Central School budget for the 2014-15 school year has been adopted.

On Tuesday, the Board of Education approved the budget at an expenditure amount of $10,024,268 – which is a 2.8 percent increase from the $9,750,795 budget under which the district is currently operating.

Bert Lictus, superintendent, said the expenditure increase was affected by areas outside of the district’s control; namely aid reduction through the gap elimination adjustment and the rising rates, set by the state, that dictate the amount that the district must pay into for its retirement systems. In light of these challenges, Lictus said the Clymer budget is fair.

“When things like health insurance and (employees retirement system) and (teachers’ retirement system) are increasing by 5 or 6 percent, increasing our expenditures by only 2.8 percent is very modest,” he said. “It’s really hard to maintain an academic program when you’re increasing spending by only 2.8 percent.”

In addition, the budget will also call for a 1.9 percent increase to the tax levy, which will allow for the district’s eligibility in the state’s new tax cap reimbursement program for municipalities that keep their levy increases below the 2 percent tax cap.

“It’s a very modest increase, but we’re doing what we can and we worked really hard to keep it in stride,” Lictus said. “We’re consolidating some things, and sharing services and doing whatever we can to keep all of the programming that we have running here in Clymer; and we’re keeping our school sound. It’s a nice school, but things cost more than they used to.”

Official approval of the Clymer Central School budget will be determined by a community vote to be held May 20.