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Shelby County School Board: Budget recommendations get 1st look

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School year’s 2nd MAP scores will be reviewed

By Todd Martin

The Shelby County Board of Education on Thursday will get its first chance to make changes and begin the process of trying to balance the 2013-14 budget by hearing recommendations from budget committee. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Wright Elementary School, 500 Rocket Lane.

At its meeting on Jan. 24, the board was presented an unbalanced draft budget, a big departure from normal practice, with the promise of budget recommendations this month.

The draft budget, which did not need approval but only a positive review, showed 2013-14 total projected revenue of all funds is about $60.2 million, an increase of about 1.2 percent from 2012-13, and expenses are projected to be about $59.4 million, an increase of about 1 percent.

However, many of the funds – like building, debt service and food service – are restricted in their use.

Where the district runs into issues is with the general fund, in which the projected revenue for next year, about $44.6 million, would not cover the expenses of about $45.2 million.

More than 86.4 percent of the general fund expenses are dedicated to salaries and benefits. It also includes technical services, supplies and miscellaneous expenses.

The draft budget also did not include any new positions, which could be required due to growth.

Superintendent James Neihof told the board at that meeting, that the recommendations from the budget committee would provide the board with the “necessary information to set a staffing allocation for next year that can be supported by the projected recurring revenue provided in the draft budget.”

The committee – which is made up of Neihof, board member Brenda Jackson, Director of Finance Greg Murphy and staff members – has been doing an item-by-item review of the budget.

Neihof told the board members that the committee’s recommendations combined with their input would provide the groundwork for a balanced tentative budget, which must be approved by May 30.

Winter MAP results

The board will get its first look at the winter MAP [Measures of Academic Progress] test results.

The test, for which the district pays, is a nationwide test that gives the district an idea of how students are progressing during the school year. Students take the test three times and over the course of their educational careers.

The district had mixed results in October, when scores showed big improvements over the 2011-12 school year’s fall numbers, but when compared to the previous spring, when students had ended a year of instruction, the fall numbers came up way short, which is not unusual.

 “Some of that is summer regression, and I’ll accept that to a point,” said Lisa Smith, chief academic officer/deputy superintendent, in her report to the board then.

However, when October’s results where compared to the fall scores from 2009, 2010 and 2011, the district had big improvements.

 

Also at the meeting, the board will:

  • Hear a host school presentation from Wright Elementary Principal Tracey Cline.
  • Hear a staff report on AdvancED Accreditation.
  • Consider approval of waiving board policy to allow Shelby County Parks and Rec. to use the gyms at Clear Creek Elementary and Collins High School on Feb. 24.
  • Consider waiving board policy to allow SCHS Marines JROTC to travel on Sunday, Feb. 24.
  • Consider waiving board policy to allow the SCHS and Collins orchestra students to use a common carrier for a field trip.
  • Consider approval of waiving board policy to allow the SCHS and Collins academic teams to compete in the state Governor’s Cup on Sunday, March 17; the East and West middle teams, and SCHS and Collins high school teams to travel to the Kentucky United Nations Assembly on Sunday, March 24; and the West Middle cheerleaders to compete on Sunday, March 24.
  • Consider approval of 2013-14 non-resident contracts for outgoing students to Anderson and Hardin counties.
  • Consider approval of extending the athletic field maintenance contract with Farison Sports Turf through Dec. 2013.