City returns some money to schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

After Suffolk City Council deflated the school board’s approved $102.2 million budget by $290,000, officials expressed relief Thursday night that the governing body returned $115,000.

Last night, board members approved a revised budget for fiscal year 2003-2004, making the following adjustments to compensate for the loss of $175,000: reducing support employees’ raises from 5 percent to 4.5 percent, amounting to $94,000; decreased $45,000 from the truancy program; and the elimination of $36,000 for maintenance equipment.

Email newsletter signup

City officials blamed diminished state funds for its inability to fully fund the school system’s budget, which now sits at $102,066,000, a $2.4 million increase, 8.57 percent, over the city’s current year contribution.

The school system had originally requested $2.6 million more from the city.

With the revisions, the total local allocation is $30.8 million, as opposed to the $31 million the school board had hoped for.

Despite the loss of anticipated city funding, Schools Superintendent Dr. Milton R. Liverman and school board were grateful for City Council’s prompt action on the budget Wednesday night.

&uot;We want to express our sincere appreciation to all the members of City Council,&uot; said Liverman. &uot;This (early approval) allows us to get along with business in terms of contracts and other commitments.&uot;

Council’s vote on the budget wasn’t expected until May 21.

School Board Vice Chairman Jim Perkinson also praised the council’s swift move on the budget, noting that it will enable the division to expedite contracts with newly hired teachers.

&uot;This will help us in retaining good teachers,&uot; said Perkinson. He elaborated that in prior years they’ve lost potential hires due to prolonged waits to deliver contracts.

As for currently hired teachers, they will see a 5 percent raise, despite the reduction to 4.5 percent for all other staff categories.