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|Abingdon School District Budget Approved
|Despite increasing costs in several areas, the superintendent of Abingdon schools says the district's budget is in good shape.
The District 217 school board Wednesday night unanimously approved the new fiscal year spending plan that has two accounts with relatively minor negative balances -- the Operations and Maintenance and Tort funds.
Superintendent Tami Roskamp tells WGIL her district is contending with declining property values and rising fuel, utilities and food costs...and it's difficult to budget for those things when it's not known how high the prices will go. "What's key for us this year is that we had put in the new air conditioning system. We're not really sure what that's going to take in the volume of electricity and heating and our costs, and if it's going to go up and down," Roskamp said. "So hopefully, we've projected in the right direction. But you never know with fuel costs and with the economy, what's going to happen. We're very happy we just have the deficit in the (Operations and Maintenance), just a small deficit. I think that's a very accurate report of what's going to happen."
Roskamp says while there will be increased usage of electricity at Hedding school because of the new air conditioner, the flip side is it will provide an environment that will be more conducive to student success and improved achievement.
Besides a small budget deficit in light of all the challenges administrators faced putting the budget together, Roskamp tells WGIL programs and jobs are safe for another year. "(We will have) no (deficit) reduction plan," Roskamp said. "We will need to look at the new accounting system with the tort fund. But we're right on target with that, so that's a good fund for us to keep track of, and we're very happy with our plan so far."
Tort is a restricted fund that has in the past been recorded in the Education Fund, but state-mandated changes to the accounting system have separated the two funds.
Something else new this year in the district that's affected the budget is a new breakfast program at the middle/high school because last year's free and reduced lunch percentage was over 40. The state provided start-up funding for the program to help with equipment purchases, but the additional labor costs are not covered by the breakfast start-up grant and have to be paid for by the school district.
|09 18 08 by Newsroom
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