An anticipated increase of $219 in per-pupil funding from the state will inject about $1.2 million into Delta County Joint School District #50, preliminary figures show. The budget projection is based on flat enrollment figures across the county.
This early in the budgeting process, there is still a lot of uncertainty about state funding and how sequestration will affect federal reimbursements for special education and Title programs. At this point, the school district expects increases in employee health insurance, employee retirement plans and workers' compensation to eat up much of the anticipated increase in revenue. Salary and benefits for the district's 650-plus employees comprise about 75 percent of the school district's expenditures.
Step increases for those employees is a top priority for school superintendent Caryn Gibson. For 2013-14, she has proposed increases totaling $390,000 for all district staff, certified and classified.
Another major expenditure deemed critical for 2013-14 is the purchase of new software for the district's financial and human resources departments, estimated at $280,000. Technology in general is a priority, as student testing will soon be done entirely online. There is also a need to replace aging school buses, but at this point no funds are being budgeted for that purpose.
"Unfortunately the budget is still tight," said business manager Wendy Everett. "But with the revenue increase we will be able to meet our priorities, and hopefully the economy will continue to improve."
While a balanced budget is her goal, the school district has a fund balance of $3.6 million. In past years, the school district has tapped into those funds to close the gap between expenditures and revenues.
At a recent school board meeting, Gibson proposed a budget committee be formed to look at staffing and facility needs across the district. She recommended the budget committee consist of district staff members, two school board members, a principal and representatives from the District Accountability Committee, Classified Council and Certified Council. As the numbers begin to fall into place, they'll be able to put together recommendations for the school board and the public to consider at budget hearings in May and June. The final budget will be adopted in June for the fiscal year beginning July 1.blog comments powered by Disqus