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UCSD struggles to find money for proposed budget increase

The Utica City School Board held its regular meeting Tuesday where they focused on state aid and the 2018-2019 budget.

Posted: Feb. 13, 2018 10:57 PM
Updated: Feb. 13, 2018 11:16 PM

UTICA – The Utica City School Board held its regular meeting Tuesday where they focused on state aid and the 2018-2019 budget.

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More than $3 million is the proposed increase for the 2018-2019 school budget.


Board members are struggling with where to find money for that budget.


During the meeting, board members voiced their frustration at the lack of money they get from the state year after year.


They feel impoverished school districts take a back seat in terms of funding.

"Our feeling is we need to get our fair share of state aid,” Superintendent of Schools Bruce Karam said. “And the burden shouldn't be on the local taxpayer right now because there would be no way we could make this up locally anyway."

Board members will travel to Albany to lobby for what they say is their fair share of state aid.

They say they will talk with lawmakers about the school district's multi-million dollar deficit.

Board members also say that funding the charter school is draining the budget. The cost of the charter school for the 2018-2019 school year was nearly $7 million. Without the expense of the charter school, they say they would have more than four million dollars surplus to operate with.

There will be no increase in school taxes for Utica residents.

The proposed budget includes nearly 20 job cuts but the school board president says they have already made as many cuts as they can.


The public will vote on the budget in May.

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