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Lawrence Schools Anticipates $4M Deficit

District no longer has reserve fund to help balance budget.

The Lawrence School District needs about $4.2 million to balance its expected 2013-14 schools budget, according to the superintendent.

“We’re looking at every scenario to make this possible,” said Superintendent Gary Schall.

If the district were to roll over last school year’s budget with no changes, it would still be in the hole due to a $700,000 increase in payroll, $600,000 in contracts and $2 million in retirement costs. Meanwhile, the district will not be able to balance its budget this year with its reserve fund, which offset last year’s balance by $3.1 million.

On the positive side, the district is anticipating an additional $1.6 million with a 2 percent tax increase and a $600,000 boost in state aid.

According to School Board Member Dr. David Sussman, the district would have to raise taxes by 8 percent to balance the budget, which would go against the state’s 2 percent tax cap and be unpopular among voters.

To balance last year’s budget, the Lawrence School District moved the high school to an eight-period day, replaced pre-k teachers with recent graduates and offered teachers a retirement buyout.

Patch will take a further look at the 2013-14 school budget and how the district intends to balance it in the coming weeks.

airthurmellon February 13, 2013 at 05:06 PM
wtf over 76 m w/declining student base makes no sense cut that butch out all over
5TResident February 13, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Oh boy, here come the haters. Bojames, its all yours.
Sam Livingston February 13, 2013 at 10:07 PM
What is going on here? Enrollment is down and the tax base is basically the same, where is the money going? How large is the administration and staff? Time to trim the needless or wasteful items and take it easy on the taxpayers. You know, the taxpayers who get squeezed due to high salaries, overstaffed administration and excessive costs.
Dov Herman February 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM
If the school board would have accepted 10.5 million dollars for the number six school the deficit would have been completely wiped out and created a surplus. They instead accepted a bid contingent in developed Simone receiving a variance which can take up to two years for the district to see any money . The a much anticipated return to the tax rolls would be a year later and construction 18 months , you do the math but board has acted irresponsibly.
Carmela Soprano February 14, 2013 at 01:56 PM
So, 10.5 million as a cure to the budget? It's only a band aid. We need a growing tax base. Another school would keep the property off the tax rolls. Look how long the money lasted from the sale of #1 School. We have enough private schools in the area. It's time to build the tax base back up.

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