District reviews budget with increase enrollment, lower local revenues


Aug. 19, 2010 at 3:19 a.m.



The school board reviewed an adjusted budget Thursday evening that included higher student enrollment numbers and less money from local property taxes.

Expected daily attendance, which is what the state uses to calculate funding, increased by 100 students. The new number, 12,800, was based off of increased registration numbers.

The $98 million budget is about $645,000 less than anticipated in local property taxes due. The budget was originally based on an increase of 1.5 percent in property values. The final value was only an increase of .037 percent.

But the decrease in local values was compensated with state funds, which increased about $2.6 million from what was anticipated. The tax rate will remain the same, however, at $1.03 per $100 of evaluation.

"We want to get the local taxes down as much as possible," said Superintendent Bob Moore.

The school board will vote to adopt the budget and set the tax rate next Thursday during a special meeting.

Members complimented the district on the balanced budget.

"We have done a fabulous job of identifying our needs and cutting our waste, or non-needs, and reinvesting that where the rubber meets the road," said board president Tami Keeling.

The budget also changed to use federal funds to pay for $727,830 of extra electricity costs for the new schools instead of local funds.

Later, the board approved an optional flexible school-day program at Liberty Academy (formerly Profit Magnet School).

The program, which allows students to recover school credits Monday through Thursday from 4:30 - 7 p.m., is in its third year. It is largely credited for helping boost the district's completion rate.

"If we recovered the student, we have to have something in place to make sure they would come back," said Susanne Carroll, executive director of research, planning, accountability and student services.

The board approved four advanced science and math classes that will be exempt from the no-pass no-play rule for University Interscholastic League competitions. Students enrolled in the classes, or other approved advanced placement classes, can earn as low as a 65 in the class and still compete for the grading period. This can only be done once a semester in one class.

"It's not like they can take these courses and think, 'I don't have to pass any of them and still play,'" said Nancy McCord, assistant superintendent.



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