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District aiming to be ‘efficient’

Dunkirk City Schools is aware of the fiscal troubles that lie ahead. During a Board of Education meeting earlier this month, the district talked about the impending financial cliff that looms in 2023.

Superintendent Michael Mansfield, who has been in the position for only 10 months, noted things have changed greatly when discussing the past. Most importantly, he noted, elementary enrollment — once more than 1,000 — is nearly half of that.

“We just have to be efficient with our use of resources across the district,” he said. “We really want to give our taxpayers a maximum return on their investment, so we want to make sure that we’re very efficient with the resources that we have.”

Dunkirk’s school budget is around $46 million annually for about 2,000 students — about $23,000 per student. In New York state, that is around the average cost — believe it or not.

All schools are facing a day of reckoning, in large part due to losses of revenue for COVID. Those that react now will be in better shape than others who wait till reality strikes.

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