District budget cuts will not require slashing service
Schools will operate on $12.4 million for next school year
The $220,000 in budget cuts the St. Francis School District expected to need to make in the 2008-09 school year can be accomplished without cutting student services or programs, School Board members were told Aug. 4.
Business Manager Julie Kelly said the amount can be made up by replacing retiring teachers with lower-paid, less-experienced teachers.
In a unanimous vote, board members approved a $12.4 million operating budget for the 2008-09 school year.
The district anticipates losing $174,496 in state aid and will experience a 3.6 percent increase in health insurance costs for the next school year, Kelly said during a presentation of the proposed budget. Most other expenditures likely will decrease in the 2008-09 budget.
The result for taxpayers likely will be an increase in taxes paid to the school district.
Officials project that the tax levy could increase about 4 percent to $4.6 million. The levy for the 2007-08 school year was about $4.4 million.
Kelly said the state Department of Public Instruction estimates the district's revenue limit will increase about $12,000 and Open Enrollment revenue will jump by $114,133.
Many budget numbers will remain estimates until the Friday, Sept. 19, enrollment count is recorded and state aid is certified, which should happen by Wednesday, Oct. 15.
The district's operating budget is projected to increase $256,010.
As for the impending staff changes that will help out the budget scenario:
• A retiring special-education aide will be replaced with a part-time special education teacher.
• A sixth-grade teaching position will be eliminated due to a smaller class size this school year.
• A working foreman stipend will be eliminated from the district's budget.
Kelly said the board likely will have to certify two levies this year, one if the district's referendum passes and another in case it is voted down by residents.
Once the DPI's actual aid amount is disclosed to school officials, the board will take action on its levy for the upcoming school year, Kelly said.
WHAT: budget hearing and annual meeting of electors to approve the levy for the 2008-09 budget
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8
WHERE: St. Francis High School library, 4225 S. Lake Drive
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