School board looks at preliminary budget
SIKESTON -- As the fiscal year comes to a close later this month, it also means the beginning of the new fiscal year. And along with the new year comes a new budget.
Members of the Sikeston R-6 Board of Education were presented a preliminary budget for the 2004-2005 school year at Tuesday's regular meeting.
At a previous meeting the board expressed the desire to do a balanced budget for the 2004-2005 school year rather than the deficit budget done for the 2003-2004 school year, noted Lori Boardman, director of Sikeston R-6 business services.
"The revenues at this stage, although tentative pending numbers from the state and county projected, are about $26.9 million," Boardman said. "At this point the expenditures are the same because we balanced it."
To compare, last year at this time, revenues were approximately $27.5 million and expenditures were $28.4 million, Boardman said.
"That was a $900,000 deficit last year, which our deficit will not be that high this year because we have not expended 100 percent of the expenditures and the governor released some more money," Boardman noted.
Boardman pointed out it's still too early to project some numbers on the revenue side. But in order to prepare the preliminary budget for the Board on Tuesday, she funded both certified and noncertified salary schedules for '04-'05 school year, put in the increase of 4 percent for health insurance for '04-'05, covered the percentage retirement increase which is a quarter percent for noncertified and half a percent for certified; updated unemployment cost because they've been higher this year than in the past; and reflected a 12 percent cut in supplies of equipment.
"None of the cuts involve personnel," Boardman assured. "We're trying to protect the personnel so the children get the services they're used to getting. We're trying to cut just from the operational side."
Boardman reminded the Board that should something catastrophic happen such as a server going down or a roof needing repaired, she will have to come back and ask for approval of funding.
"What I've presented to you -- Is it do able? Yes. Is it realistic to assume it will be a perfect year and we won't have anything catastrophic happen? Maybe not," Boardman told the board. "But you asked for a bottom line that would balance, and we gave it to you."
Boardman said a better projection of the budget will be available closer to the end of the month.
In other business Tuesday, Stephanie Reddick, assistant superintendent of middle grades and curriculum, reported summer school began Monday for students kindergarten through high school, including the alternative school, with enrollment at 1,013 students. Reddick said "opening day went smoothly" and she anticipates an increase in enrollment.