District One School Board gets look at preliminary budget

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Anderson School District One Board of Trustees held a budget worksession last week as they begin the budeting process for the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent David Havird presented “very preliminary” budget information based on funding expected to be provided in the State House budget, which is also currently being worked on in Columbia.

Havird said the presentation was the “First round of the process. There has been a lot of time and energy on this process at this point.”

Havird said the District staff has been looking at State initiatives and funding including a revised funding formula for the Education Finance Act (EFA) with new weightings for poverty, gifted and talented students and students requiring specialized instruction; a slight increase in the base student cost which is still lower than it should be; fifty percent funding by the state for reading coaches; funding for summer reading camps; lottery funds for statewide technology improvements (with weighted distribution); digital instruction materials; state funding for a charter school district and school bus purchases by the state.

They are also considering staff and enrollment projections, reviewing expense and revenue accounts for the past year, preparing and reviewing school academic programs and priorities, calculating the major changes in the EFA weighting changes and funding formula; reviewing local assessment date from the County Treasurer’s Office and evaluating a step increase for professional and support staff.

The District is expecting a slight increase in the base student cost, from $2,101 to $2,120 and some new state funding for K-12 technology, $318,532 and reading coaches, $219,555. The District will have to fund half of the salaries for the reading coaches, he said.

In summary, the District is anticipating revenues of $60,217,556 and budgeted expenditures of $61,159,127, resulting in an unbalanced budget of $941,571.

Havird told the Board they may have to consider using some of the fund balance money to cover the difference.

There will be additional work on the budget over the next few weeks. The budget year ends in June.