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Community hears district budget challenges; provides feedback

The Cazenovia Central School District is considering options such as eliminating staff positions, athletic teams, student clubs and elective courses to close the $1.85 million gap between revenues and expenses in its proposed 2024-25 budget.

About 195 community members gathered at Cazenovia High School on March 20 to hear about the district’s financial crisis and discuss how they felt about the possible solutions outlined by the administration to balance the budget. The gap is due to rising expenses, such as inflation on goods and services, contractual salary increases, benefit cost increases, and a reduction in state aid as outlined in the governor’s budget proposal.

“We want to be true to our mission, vision and strategic plan and are looking for ways to close the budget gap without losing those things that make us uniquely Cazenovia,” Superintendent Christopher DiFulvio said. 

Community members met in small groups and discussed many of the same issues district administrators and board members are grappling with on how to close the gap. The options presented to the groups ranged from exceeding the 4.4% tax levy limit so there would be no cuts, to meeting the limit at 4.4% and cutting $1.85 million in programs and services. 

The district is already proposing to use $500,000 in fund balance, which is like a savings account for the school, and is proposing $700,000 in cuts, but more needs to be done to balance the budget. That’s where the district is looking for feedback from the community. DiFulvio discussed specific staff and programming that is being considered for reduction or elimination as well as the impact of closing the gap by using even more of the district’s fund balance, which he said would not be a sustainable solution going forward. 

Some residents have questioned if the district’s voter-approved capital project to construct the turf fields at Emory Ave has contributed to the gap. It has not, DiFulvio said during his presentation. The gap in revenue and expenses would be the same if voters had rejected the project.

The March 20 meeting was a result of board of education members expressing that they would like community input on the options before them so they are making decisions that best align with the community’s values and expectations. The district plans to gather feedback from those unable to attend the meeting through an online survey that will be open through March 29. Those who need a paper copy of the survey should contact the District Clerk, Emily Ayres, at (315) 655-1317 or

After taking into account the community feedback, administrators will present a final budget to the board of education for adoption at its regular meeting on April 15. A public hearing budget presentation will be held on May 14 in the HS auditorium at 6:30 pm, and qualified voters will go to the polls on May 21 in the MS aux gym between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm.

DiFulvio encouraged attendees to contact their state elected officials to advocate for the restoration of the district’s state aid. Contact information and a sample letter was shared and is now available on the district website.
Cazenovia Central School District Logo

Chris DiFulvio


31 Emory Ave Cazenovia, NY 13035