Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Preliminary Budget Part I

As the school board reviews the proposed budget for the 2001-2012 school year, I thought it would be beneficial for everyone if I spent a few days explaining some of the budget.  First of all, the total budget expenditures are $12,714,669.  This is an increase of $298,000 (2.32% increase) over the budget last year.  Of all of the expenditures in the budget, 84% are "fixed" costs.  In other words, there is very little the school district can do to affect these costs.  For example, the agreements the school district has with the teachers association and the support service personnel association are legal contracts that the district must abide by.  These include salaries and benefits of our employees.  Salaries alone account for 52% of our budget; while benefits account for another 21% of the school district's expenditures.  The other 11% of fixed costs are insurance, tuition for students in other placements, transportation, utilities and debt service.  The challenge for the school board is to present a budget that keeps education in the forefront, while at the same time keeping taxes low.  With 84% of the budget "fixed" there simply is not a lot of "wiggle room".

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