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Jefferson-Lewis BOCES proposes administrative budget decrease

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The Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services is decreasing its administrative budget by 0.2 percent.

Superintendent Jack J. Boak Jr. presented a $46,293,921 budget proposal at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES’ annual meeting Wednesday night at the central administration building in Watertown.

“This is Michele’s first time through a BOCES budget,” Mr. Boak said, referring to Michele A. Traynor, the new assistant superintendent for business. “We have several budgets; hundreds of budgets, compared to the one that schools do.”

The total budget is a $894,420, or 2 percent, increase from the current year, but boards of education across the jurisdiction — from Alexandria Central to Adirondack Central — will get to vote on only 8 percent of the total.

“The only portion that can be voted on is the administration budget, because it’s the only stable part of the budget,” Mr. Boak said.

The budget for central administration is $3,758,626, a 0.2 percent decrease from the current year’s $3,766,256.

This portion includes the salaries of Mr. Boak and Assistant Superintendent Dawn D. Ludovici.

Including the capital budget, which is used to pay component districts for classroom rental, the administrative total of $4,044,366 is a 3.7 percent increase from the current year’s $3,901,998.

Mr. Boak said the only revenue BOCES receives is from the services it provides to schools. Unlike school districts, it cannot tax property owners.

Mr. Boak praised district superintendents for continuing to tighten their budgets.

“This has been a particularly difficult year for school administrators everywhere,” he said. “They keep slugging it out every day.”

Boards of education will vote on the administrative budget and elect three new board members April 24.

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