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June 16, 2011

School District Heading Into Final Month of Fiscal year in Better Shape Than Expected

Despite lower than expected revenues this year The Scotland County R-I School District heads into the final month of the fiscal year in better financial shape than was predicted at the outset of the budget year.

Superintendent Dave Shalley presented a financial update for board members at the regular meeting on Thursday, June 9th 2011. He indicated that year-to-date revenues for the district are $5,057,783. Those figures represent a decline of $106,039 below last year's year-to-date revenue.

However Shalley reported year-to-date expenses were $4,593,172.85, which was $361,202.64 lower than last year at this time.

"The majority of revenue reductions are from the state, which is supplemented by the Federal Jobs Bill," said Shalley. "Without the Jobs Bill money, state revenues have decreased approximately $100,000."

Shalley offered a comparison of budgets from this year to last year revenues, plus expenses, reveling the district was $464,610 in the black as compared to $209,447 in the black in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

He did caution the board regarding high expectations, noting that the fiscal year closes out at the end of June, a month that traditionally features higher expenditures.

"June will close out the fiscal year and is always a month with high expenses. We will likely see a deficit at the end of the fiscal year," he told the board.

Initial projections for the 2011-2012 financial picture are also forecasting deficit spending for the district.

Shalley presented the proposed 2011-12 school budget for board review. The plan was based on a local tax rate of $3.2484, using the 2010-11 assessed valuation of $47,739,205. Revenues were processed based on a projected four percent reduction in State Formula dollars as well as a decline in federal aid resulting in budgeted revenues of $4,999,246.

Expenditures included the district's portion of career ladder, no step increase in salary and a full insurance benefit.

"Operation and maintenance lines did not increase and we have lease-purchased a bus over a three-year period to lessen the burden on the budget," Shalley said.

The budget projected total expenditures at $5,483,525, resulting in a projected deficit of $484,525.

"We currently have a balance of approximately $2,000,000 to help us through the poor economy without making major cuts this fiscal year," Shalley said.

The board voted 7-0 to adopt the proposed budget.

In other business the board completed procedural requirements as required by law, passing a resolution officially stating the budget for expenditures for the fiscal year is amended to match actual expenditures in each overspent line for the year.

The board voted 7-0 to adopt this resolution.

Board Docs

Representative from Board Docs demonstrated a "paperless" meeting. Board Docs allows school boards to run meetings and gather information through the use of technology, thereby eliminating postage, paper and delays.

The board will evaluate the program to determine if it will be a money saver for the district.

Salary Proposals

The Salary Committee presented the board with a proposal for staff compensation for next year. This includes full insurance benefits for qualified staff, but no step increase.

"This is the second year for no step increase," Shalley pointed out. "It does allow certified staff obtaining approved, college credit hours to advance horizontally on the salary schedule and increase vacation by one week for 12-month, certified employees with thirty years experience."

The superintendent noted that increasing insurance costs continue to be a concern.

"We belong to an insurance consortium with 14 schools to help defray insurance costs," he stated. "Currently, we are the only district of the 14 schools that pays full insurance benefits."

The districts offer three plans and the employees choose the plan that best fits their needs. The approval of the full insurance benefit will be an additional cost to the district of $71,832.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the request.

Tuition Rates

The board voted 7-0 to establish the tuition rates for fiscal year 2011-12. The rate for 7-12 tuition will be $7,782 and the K-6 tuition was set at $5,635. This rate is below the annual ADA expenditure of the district, which is $8,533.

The tuition rates for fiscal year 2010-11 were $7,628 and the K-6 tuition was $5,461. The annual ADA expenditure of the district was $8,158.

Employee Picnic and Staff Breakfast

The new staff picnic will be August 16th at 6:30 p.m. at The Willows and the board-sponsored breakfast for all staff will be 7:30 a.m. August 16th in the high school commons.

Letters of Resignation

The board voted 7-0 to accept, with regret, letters of resignation from Lisa Denney, Mary Couch, Claire Overton and Greg Wilson. The board wishes the best of luck to them in their future endeavors.

Exit Interviews

Currently the district does not perform formal exit interviews with employees who leave the district. The board discussed the possibility of using exit interviews to get an idea of what it does right and/or wrong for the purpose of improvement.

"We are going to survey other schools on their procedures and review our findings," Shalley said.

Executive Session

The board went into executive session at 9:25 and approved the following items:

May Minutes 7-0.

Re-employ Carl Trueblood, Terry Arnold, Linda Hervey, Kathy Dickerson, Lisa Humes, Kate Walker and Michella Hull 7-0.

Offer the following positions: 7-8 science - Billie Lanham; high school math - Tracy LaVan; high school English positions - Tracey Meusec and Tina Olakowski; special education position - Elizabeth Monroe; elementary - Amy Shultz; part-time P.E. position - Daniel Burns as well as a partial slate of coaching duties.

The board voted to go out of closed and into open session at 10:02 p.m.

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