Last night the school board approved the 2010-2011 preliminary budget. The $12,714,669 budget includes a 1 mill tax increase. I foresee that future budgets will be much more difficult to balance. There are signs of stress even in this preliminary budget. For the first time in years we are not putting money into our long term maintenance fund. We are also continuing to take money from our savings to balance the budget.
With that being said, the school district is making great strides in developing a coherent strategy to improve student learning. This strategy starts with the budget. This budget continues the trend from last year to fund professional development of our staff to assure that the students receive the best instruction and curriculum possible. This budget also reflects the school board’s resolve to fund the five year, nonnegotiable goals for achievement and instruction that the board created this winter. I cannot overstate the importance to the students of the school district that the budget includes these items. There will be tough choices made in the future concerning the school district’s budget. However, I am hopeful that the school board will continue to stay focused on improved student instruction and achievement.
Mr. Rhoads did a budget presentation last night. He presented a powerpoint reviewing all of the major points in the preliminary budget. There are two budget documents. One is on the “official” state required form. While the other budget is in a format that Mr. Rhoads puts together with explanations for specific budget items. I would suggest that you read the second one to learn the most about the school district budget.