BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Public Schools presented a balanced 2017-18 draft budget to the school board in a work session on Wednesday night, two weeks ahead of the board's scheduled vote to approve the budget.
Back in January, 2 On Your Side reported that initial budget deficit projections showed a $161.9 million deficit over four years, due in large part to the approval of a new contract for teachers. At the time, the district offered reassurance that the projections were only preliminary, adding that reserves would cover a significant portion of that gap. 
More than three months later, that appears to be true. Before Wednesday's work session, the district faced a $10.2 million shortfall for 2017-18, but Chief Financial Officer Geoffrey Pritchard said the district was able to close that gap entirely in its latest proposal to the board. 
The district cut more than $4 million by rearranging bus schedules, in addition to some other tweaks. 
The district will now release a new four-year plan in June.
"We're still doing projections on the four-year plan, but by closing this gap, that actually does close the outyear gaps that we have," Pritchard said. "But certainly that's something we're going to make a big push to make a really good four-year plan going forward. Now that we have that certainty in there, we have a pretty good idea where our costs are."