Special ed spike has Maryvale looking for ways to cut costs - The Buffalo News

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Special ed spike has Maryvale looking for ways to cut costs

The Maryvale School District is facing more expenses than anticipated this year, but administrators are taking measures to make sure it will not dramatically affect next school year’s budget, they told Board of Education members last week.

Stephen Lunden, assistant superintendent for administrative services, attributed the expenses to a higher than anticipated number of special education students moving into the district. While the district is not over budget yet, it is likely to start using money from its $925,000 unappropriated fund balance, which is usually saved to offset tax increases.

“When we develop the budget, we take into account unanticipated things come up,” Lunden said. “Fortunately, we have done very well most years. This year, we haven’t done as well.”

Lunden said the district is considering multiple options to overcome the shortfall, one of which is meeting with department heads and limiting purchases over the next few months. He’s hopeful that this strategy will help make up any shortfall that might otherwise occur in the district’s 2014-15 fund balance.

“I don’t want to say the word ‘freeze,’” Lunden said. “If a department needs to buy something, these types of purchases will continue. But if there’s any way around buying that item, we’re taking a close look at it. I’d rather overreact now than wait four months.”

“It’s not the greatest news, but I’m confident we’ve taken some measures to minimize the impact,” Lunden said.

“It’s a challenge,” said Superintendent Deborah Ziolkowski. “We haven’t had a budget that wasn’t a challenge, but being proactive is a lot better than being reactive.”

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