School district budget up for approval at June 24 meeting

In other action

The Moffat County School Board:

  • Approved, 7-0, a new math curriculum. A team of educators wrote a new curriculum aligned to recently-updated state standards. Changes include fewer, clearer and higher standards and an integration of personal finance literacy.
  • Approved, 7-0, a list of clubs for the 2010-11 school year. No clubs were left out from 2009-10. The list includes: Moffat County High School Student Council, FFA, Knowledge Bowl, DECA, FBLA, Key Club, National Honor Society, MCHS Rodeo, CMS student government, CMS yearbook, Sandrockers, Soaring Singers, Fourth-grade Choir from Ridgeview Elementary and Sunrise Singers.
  • Approved, 7-0, the 2010-11 board meeting schedule.
  • Approved, 7-0, first readings of the following policies:
  • Policy 4161, paid personnel leaves
  • Policy 4342, reduction in professional workforce
  • Policy 5310, student use of district computing devices and computer systems
  • Policy 4118, staff use of district computing devices and computer systems
  • Policy 5312, student use of electronic devices
  • Policy 6614, copyright compliance
  • Policy 5320, student fees, fines and charges
  • Policy 3544, students with food allergies

The 2010-11 Moffat County School District budget is on its way to a public hearing June 10, after the school board considered the budget’s final draft at its monthly meeting Thursday.

The district has yet to set a time for the June 10 hearing.

Board president JoAnn Baxter said the school board was pleased with how the district administration handled $1.1 million in budget cuts.

District finance director Mark Rydberg gave a brief presentation over-viewing expected revenues and expenses.

With total program revenue down by 6.35 percent, the administration has spent the last five months interacting with staff, parents, community members and students to find a fair and equal way to cut $1.1 million from the $20 million budget.

MCSD is one of the few school districts that rely more heavily on local property taxes than state support.

Because of lower assessed values, revenue from property taxes fell from $12.7 million in 2009-10 to $11.3 million.

The district focused on keeping cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, officials said.

“I think we’re very, very fortunate we were able to do it with as little cut in personnel as we have,” said Baxter, a former teacher of 30 years.

She said most of the paraprofessional and support positions that were cut were done by attrition, and teachers did not have to take a salary reduction.

Administrators, however, took a pay cut of 2 percent.

Some peripheral services will be impacted by the budget cuts, including student transportation, administration services and health insurance options for its employees.

“I think we’re in good shape with that,” Baxter said. “We may have cut transportation to some degree, but not to a degree where we’re charging for kids to go to school like some other districts might be.”

She said the community needs to realize that the district might not be able to provide the same level of service in terms of administrative support. She used the administration building as an example.

“You might walk in here at noon, and there’s nobody,” she said. “Maybe there’s one person up front who fills in, but it’s a different environment than it was two years ago.

“But, in terms of educating our kids, we’re going to be there.”

Rydberg said the district has been spending money on capital improvements over the past several years, but will curb spending in that area.

“The biggest thing we cut out of general fund was allocation to capital funds,” Rydberg said.

With recent capital improvements like building updates, Rydberg said the district will be able to get by with cutting back in capital projects in the near future.

“We’ve had two to three years of improvements,” he said. “It’s a short-term solution, a short-term strategy that we’ll need to get back on in the future.”

Aside from the possibility of some stimulus fund grants, Rydberg said the budget will undergo very few changes before it reappears before the board for approval in June.

“It’s just about right,” he said.

To see a pdf file of the proposed budget, look for this story at www.craigdailypress.com

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