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School board gets second look at its budget

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No raises included in preliminary plan

By Todd Martin

The Shelby County Board of Education will take the next step in the 2011-12 budget process by voting on the tentative budget at its meeting Thursday.

Superintendent James Neihof told the board May 12 that the budget is balanced but implied that it is tight and that some decisions are still left to be made, including salary increases.

As of now, he told them, there are no salary increases included, but that could change.

Neihof told the board that there are “some options” he would present to them that do include salary increases.

The draft budget, the first step in the budget process, was passed by the board at the January 13 meeting.

A conservative first look saw the district project $43 million in general fund expenses, a 4.8 percent increase over the 2010-11 working budget. General fund receipts were projected at about $100,000 less than the expenses, up about 5.4 percent from the current working budget.

Because of conservative estimates of both revenue and expenses, the district routinely moves from over-budgeted to under budget.

In 2008-09 and 2009-10 budget projections surpassed 100 percent, but both came comfortably below budget when the actual numbers were completed at the end of the year. Last year’s budget was again over budget with expenses at about 103 percent, but the actual numbers are not complete.

The draft budget in January projected a less-than-1-percent difference between general fund expenses and receipts.

Energy manager position

The board will consider modifying the memorandum of agreement for the energy manager position to add two months.

Sherman Adams, who has been the energy manager for Shelby County and five other districts, has saved the district about $50,000 per year by instituting several cost-saving programs and upgrading electrical equipment throughout the district.

Recognition

The board will take time to recognize Robert Arvin who has been a budget consultant with the board for years but worked his last budget for the this 2010-11 school year.

The board will also recognize student representatives Austin Crowe and Quinten Cottrell. Crowe is in his second year as a student rep but is the first in the history of Collins High School. Cottrell has served one year as the rep for Shelby County High School.

Also at the meeting, the board will consider approval of:

·       Awarding a contract for asphalt work at the bus garage, East Middle and Wright and Painted Stone elementary schools.

·       Revised job descriptions.

·       The local agreement for cooperation on full usage of Head Start for the 2011-12 school year.

·       The second reading of the revised board polices and administrative procedures.