Archive for Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Superintendent discusses tight budget

October 11, 2000

Keeping the belt tight on the budget is the name of the game at USD 464.

"It's just a matter of trying to operate as cost-effectively as we can and still provide quality services to our students," Tonganoxie school superintendent Richard Erickson told board members Monday night.

This year, with $310,000 income from the local option budget, and $70,000 coming in from increased state aid, one arm of the budget shows a $380,000 increase.

But, counter that with a $205,000 decrease because of dropping enrollment, a $266,000 salary increase for employees, $30,000 for a Reading Recovery program, a $37,000 increase in the special education budget and $30,000 budget increases in supplies, equipment and utilities, and things aren't looking so good.

But the district will make it, with the help of a $140,000 transfer from the general fund and a $48,000 reduction in transfers to other budgets, Erickson said.

The balancing act shows a district that's not overflowing with extra cash.

"But we're not a poor district," Erickson said.

Jim Long, auditor for the school district, agreed.

"As far as being a poor district, you're not one of those," he said.

Long said his audit of the school district showed "no problems and no exceptions noted."

Darren Neas, faculty member overseeing Tonganoxie's virtual school, an Internet-based curriculum established to reach home-schooled children, said six students are enrolled in the program.

Two of these students are enrolled in the district on a half-time basis, meaning that in all, five students will be added to the district's full-time equivalency enrollment.

Five of the participating students are in high school, and the other is in elementary school. So far, all of the students except one have their textbooks in hand.

"They're set up and learning's going on," Neas said. "In four weeks we'll know more when we get reports on how they're progressing."

Board members talked about the possibility of using the Internet-based educational program for high school students who are expelled from school.

Following an executive session, the school board took the following action:

Accepted the resignation of Cecilia Priutt as nurse at the junior high and high school.

Approved these hirings:

Phyllis Wright high school custodian

Calvin McDaniel high school custodian

Donna Drinnon crossing guard at elementary school

John Lee head baseball coach

Andy Gilner assistant baseball coach

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