School Board approves deficit budget of $111 million

/ 6 July 2012 / jennifer

Julie Kink, St. Croix Valley Press, July 6, 2012 –

STILLWATER — Stillwater School Board members adopted a preliminary 2012-2013 budget last week that includes projected revenues of $106 million, expenditures of $111 million and a projected fund balance of $33 million by June 30, 2013.

Assistant Superintendent of Business and Administrative Services Dr. Ray Queener told board members the preliminary budget reflects a decrease in the fund balance for the general fund compared to the 2011-2012 budget. He said that’s because of an intentional use of the fund balance to bridge the gap between revenues and expenditures resulting from flat or declining state tax funding.

For 2012-2013, salaries and benefits make up 77 percent of the district’s general fund budget, while supplies and materials take about 18 percent of the budget pie and services such as heating, electricity, insurance and telecommunication costs account for 14 percent, according to the report.

The district routinely approves a preliminary budget for the coming school year in June and adopts a revised budget the following winter, after the property tax levy has been approved and the audit is completed. Budgets are based on many variables including enrollment trends and projections, employee contracts, general education revenue from the state, school staffing allocations and special education revenue. Tax shifts enacted by the legislature also have a large impact, Queener explained in his report.

The 2012-2013 preliminary budget is available at www.stillwater.k12.mn.us.

In other business, the board:

•Approved a joint powers agreement with Mahtomedi Public Schools for sharing the services of a director of community education on a one-year trial basis. The agreement will allow the district to maximize services services it provides while taking a regional approach to service provision, explained Lori Brink, director of community education services.

•Unanimously passed a revised discipline policy which requires school-wide proactive positive behavior support plans for every school.

•Held first reading of revisions to the health and safety policy and the video surveillance policy which now incorporates buses. Second reading of both revised policies is scheduled for July 19. “Most metro districts have cameras on their buses,” said Dennis Bloom, director of operations. “We decided to put them on 10 buses at a time.” He said the cameras will be purchased and installed by the bus company at its expense, per the district’s contract.

•Noted the Minnesota Special Olympics held last month at Stillwater Area High School were a huge success.

•Heard from Superintendent Dr. Corey Lunn that Stillwater Area High School is the site chosen for next year’s annual national Flipped Classroom conference site. The conference is expected to bring 500 to 700 participants. This year’s conference is in Chicago.

•Noted the public will have an opportunity to provide input on the district’s strategic plan at two meetings: Monday, Aug. 6 and Tuesday, Aug. 21. Further information will be at www.stillwater.k12.m.us.

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