Niagara Gazette


March 12, 2014

Lew-Port may look to BOCES to help cut budget costs

Niagara Gazette — In the everlasting journey to cut costs, there may be a service Lewiston-Porter administrators found to reduce significant expenses in its technology department.

Andrew Auer, who’s serving as the district’s technology director in addition to his role as intermediate school principal, said the district was approached by a representative from Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services to consolidate a number of budgetary items into a network support service.

“BOCES would become (the) technology services provider,” Auer told members of the district school board Tuesday. “The help desk would essentially become your resource for all technology issues. If there’s an issue, you’d place a call to the help desk and they’d try to find a solution. If not, they’d refer it on.”

A few issues arose because of the proposal, though, Auer said.  First, he said BOCES hasn’t informed him of what specific savings the district would be able to reduce or cut out of its BOCES expenses next school year.

If the district chose to jump right in, administrators said the plan would cost about $130,000. The price may end up being significantly less than what is already spent on technicians assisting technology needs currently, though until the details are provided by BOCES, no one will have final figures.

Auer did identify one item he said he’s “99 percent sure” would be eliminated from the current expenditure plan. Spam and filtering service for Lotus Notes, the district’s email software, comes at a cost of $2,650 next year and would be a likely target, though it wouldn’t be the only resource eliminated.

Another issue administrators are taking into account is the success of the current system. Superintendent Christopher Roser said BOCES is pushing the district “hard” to get involved in the program, which he said Niagara-Wheatfield has already subscribed to. But he, too, won’t be convinced until he sees the final projections because of the performance of district staff this year.

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