Buffalo schools deficit smaller than first projected

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Public School officials say the deficit in the coming year will be smaller than expected. Updated projections show an $18.4 million shortfall.

Higher than expected sales tax revenue, federal money coming to the district through health care reform and nearly $3.5 million in savings realized through negotiations with health insurers all contributed to the reduction.

The new figure allows the district to restore 80 positions it had planned on cutting. Nearly 400 jobs are still slated for elimination, but officials say most of those positions will be absorbed by attrition.

In addition to a smaller deficit, the district also plans on expanding class sizes to minimize job losses. Kindergarten classrooms will expand to a maximum of 22 students while classrooms in grades 1 through 6 will increase to 30 students.