Sharon: Small cuts, big impact


By Patsy Nicosia

It’s coming down to socks.
Grasping at ways to cut $590,816 from its tentative $8.7 million 2011-12 budget, Sharon Springs Central School administrators talked Monday about eliminating funding for soccer, baseball, and soccer socks.
The change would save SSCS $672 a year; athletes would be asked to buy their own socks.
“It’s a sign of the times,” said Superintendent Pat Green.
“A lot of districts are asking students to pay to play.”
Saving on socks might sound trivial, but, pointed out Jim MacFadden, board president, “If we didn’t buy any of it [the $336,686 targeted for books and supplies] we still couldn’t balance the budget.”
SSCS is also considering eliminating $2,700 in funding for a student handbook and assignment pad that few students use as intended.
Though SSCS is required to get much of the information in the handbook into students’ hands, Mr. MacFadden said they could simply do it with handouts.
“Still, in terms of the actual budget, it’s pennies in terms of what we need to find,” Mr. Green admitted.
More substantial savings will come from some $14,000 in cuts to K-6 textbooks.
Mr. Green said he doesn’t expect that to cause any problems; SSCS has already pre-purchased what it needs.
“Actually, we’re in great shape there,” he said. “It’s the least of my concerns.”
SSCS has already approved $35,700 in cuts to bus drivers and benefits, but Mr. Green said there will be no changes in routes.
The tentative budget is up $519,094 from last year and as it stands, calls for using $555,116 from the fund balance.