BOCES board endorses administrative budget

JOHNSTOWN – The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Education Services’ administrative budget for 2014-15 – which includes a 2 percent increase over the current budget – was unanimously endorsed by the Board of Education on Wednesday.

The administrative budget is about $2.4 million. The 2 percent increase will have to be covered by the districts that use BOCES services.

The administrative budget will be voted on by the school boards for each of the 15 districts within the region April 23.

HFM BOCES Superintendent Patrick Michel said the district was able to save money within the budget due to health insurance savings, which totaled about $73,000, although the districts don’t pay for that cost.

The endorsed budget, excluding the cost of health insurance, is $29,918 over the adjusted 2013-14 budget approved by the districts last year. The majority of the increase is for contractual non-instructional salaries, which is expected to increase by $31,778 over this year.

Michel said the percentage each district will pay for the administrative portion of the budget is based on a formula set by the state that factors in each district’s size, student population and poverty rate.

The proposed budget includes a 2 percent spending increase, which has been BOCES goal for several years, Michel said.

The local BOCES serves school districts in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties. School districts use BOCES to offer more classroom programs and student services.

The various boards also will vote for members to fill the two available seats on the HFM BOCES Board of Education, which are currently held by Louis Capece and Jean LaPorta.