That means the district is looking at some deep cuts like eliminating several teachers, administrators, and teacher assistant positions.
Along with those cuts, reducing Kindergarten to half a day was a big concern for several people at Tuesday's board meeting.
Kindergarten teacher, Kathy Levy says, it's all a domino effect.
"If they don't have this basic education in Kindergarten, they would not be ready for first grade," said Levy.
Kathy has been teaching full-day Kindergarten for the last 14 years. She says with the new state standards, keeping students for the entire day is critical.
"There's these New York State tests, the schools are judged, the children are judged. If they don't have this basic education in Kindergarten with this more demanding curriculum, it's going to have a very detrimental effect," she said.
Currently, the district is facing a $10 million gap in the budget, which places programs like Kindergarten on the chopping block.
But, Superintendent of Utica City Schools says none of this is easy.
"The budget that I'm presenting tonight to the board of education for adoption is a very painful and devastating budget," said Karam.
Kathy Levy says she knows it's not the city of Utica's fault.
"Our fiscal problem is related to the state not giving us our fair share of the aid," she said.
But, she says some choices have to be made.
"I say full-day Kindergarten should be top priority for the district," she said.