The Syracuse City School District is facing a $24-million gap in their 2018-2019 proposed budget.

The spending plan was presented to the Board of Education on Wednesday. 

Overall, it calls for $437.2-million dollars in spending. That’s $19.6-million more than this year or a 4.7 percent increase.

Currently, the plan calls for a withdrawal of $12-million from the fund balance to help close the gap.

The district would ask the state to provide an additional $12-million in aid to take care of the rest.

Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Slack said she expects to have more solid numbers on March 30, if the state budget is finalized on time.

During her presentation, Slack outlined key budget expenses for the upcoming school year as follows:

  • Salaries = $204.3-million
  • Benefits = $100.8-million
  • Transportation = $21.7-million
  • Charter Tuition = $27.8-million
  • Professional Services = $42.9-million
  • Supplies & Equipment = $12.5-million
  • Debt & Other = $27.2-million

The Board of Education specifially addressed charter school tuition during their meeting Wednesday.

Members passed a resolution urging the State University of New York and the New York Board of Regents to impose a moratorium on the expansion or addition of charter schools in the district for a few years.

According to the resolution, more than 8 percent of public school students in the district are enrolled in charter schools and the number is expected to rise.

The projected cost of charter school tuition is expected to increase to $48,345,000 in the Syracuse City School District over the next four years. The district must also pay transportation fees for students in charter schools. 

Superintendent Jaime Alicea says he isn’t opposed to offering parents more choices, but says the financial burden on the district will affect the programs needed for public schools.

He’s hoping the state will restructure the way charter schools are funded.

It’s unclear if SUNY will consider the temporary ban. Several questions sent to a spokesperson for SUNY late Wednesday afternoon have not been answered.