School board accepts proposed budget | SummitDaily.com

School board accepts proposed budget

LORY POUNDER
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

FRISCO ” Following an 18-month process, Summit School District Board of Education is its the final stages of budget adoption.

At last week’s meeting, board members voted to accept the proposed $27 million 2008/2009 budget, which includes about $2 million in cuts. The next steps will be to hold a public hearing May 28 and adopt the budget in June.

While the budget will face some additional changes before its adopted, “It will not be significantly different,” said Karen Strakbein, assistant superintendent for business services.

Reductions are being made across all departments of the district, including central office, maintenance and at the schools. Each school looked at ways to reduce their budget by about 6.4 percent and each plan is different. At the end of April, the school board reviewed those plans.

According to a memo to the board, some of the ways the schools came up with the reductions include: Jobs shares of support positions including media and counseling, multiple assignments to staff, reducing the numbers of paraprofessionals, restructuring classes with low enrollment and reducing budgets of office, athletics or departments.

While exploring the options, priorities included small class sizes as well as continuing to invest in staff, school officials said.

As a result, one of the recommendations is to use new revenue from the Colorado School Finance Act ” 3.58 percent ” to increase salaries, benefits, Strakbein said.

Currently, negotiations are still taking place and health benefits, which have been a struggle because of increased costs, are out to bid, school officials said at the board meeting.

Budget conversations arose when the school board began talking more than a year ago about this past November’s mill levy question.

The 2004 Special Building Maintenance and Technology mill levy, which sunsets every three years, supported 44 positions for a total of $3.6 million in operational costs. The school board decided in order to achieve financial stability and not rely on voters, those ongoing costs needed to be from an ongoing revenue stream.

Then, the November election question passed and included some ongoing revenue. And throughout the past year, budget efficiencies, central office reductions, attrition at the schools and a policy change so interest earned lands in the general fund contributed to reaching the necessary reduction.


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