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Akron panel to plan school budget

The Akron Central School District's Budget Advisory Committee will meet Feb. 7 for the first time this year to discuss and debate the 2007-08 budget.

The committee -- a cross section of community members, officials and administrators -- will convene five times to analyze district spending and ultimately make recommendations to the School Board at the end of March.

The budget process started in the fall, with the board and Superintendent Ronald G. DeCarli fielding individual budget requests from the district's departments and administrators. The result is a preliminary budget with spending totaling $25.7 million -- a 3.5 percent increase, said district Treasurer Cynthia M. Tretter.

"But again, that's just what we're bringing to [the committee] for their review and analysis," Tretter said.

Also affecting the final budget will be the state's funding formulas, which finalize in early March. Until then, the district can only make its best guess as to how much state aid it will receive, Tretter said.

Last year, the committee's recommendations led to $75,000 in cuts from the original draft. Voters approved the subsequent $24.8 million budget.

Tretter said the committee's ability to parse district spending from a community standpoint has made it a successful and valuable part of the budget's development.

"We have a very supportive community," she said. "And I think because the process is so open and we allow stakeholders a voice throughout, it tends to bode well for us at vote time."

The 7 p.m. meeting Feb. 7 in Akron Central's board room, 47 Bloomingdale Ave., is open to the public.

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