At last week’s meeting the board voted to accept the $206 million tentative budget presented by district Chief Financial Officer Steve Barnette.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” he said of the comparatively rapid approval.
“They [board members] have been engaged from day one.”
The tentative budget will be put out for public opinion in the county legal organ June 5 and 12. Board members will vote on a final budget June 25 at 8:30 a.m.
District 5 Board Member Sammy McClure said the budget is not as large as it was as when the economy was better.
“The good thing is it looks like with this budget we won’t have to dip into our residual funds,” he said.
The past two years the district has had to use money from its $23 million reserve fund to balance its budget.
Items included in the budget are a 50 percent increase for textbooks and instructional material, a 50 percent increase for an unspecified technology upgrade, the purchase of eight new buses and reducing employee furlough days, most by two days.
Board Vice Chairman Kim Curl said Barnette did a great job on the budget.
“I’m real comfortable with what Mr. Barnette and Cliff Cole have done with this budget,” he said.
Both Curl and McClure are happy with the decrease in furlough days.
Both said they would like to not require any furlough days, but the financial situation may require it.
McClure said, “Until the economy gets better that’s [giving all days back] just not possible.”
In the past the district has not routinely updated its textbooks.
“If you are going to have a course in your curriculum you want to have the materials to make your students successful,” he said.
Curl said buying materials has been put on hold, but now is a chance to purchase needed items.
McClure said a “refresh” on technology is needed every three to four years.
“It [technology] is not going backwards; it is going forwards,” he said.
Also included in the budget is the possibility of the creation of new positions in grant writing, technology and accounting.
“The grant writer would take care of itself,” Curl said. “The others are needed [as well].”
The board also is scheduled to approve a tentative millage rate to fund the budget June 11. It is set to take a final vote July 23.