School board expecting increase in new budget
After a year of researching and projecting figures and dollar amounts, the Eudora Board of Education is ready to finalize next year's school budget at the July board meeting.
Board President Mark Chrislip said even though there are no big item changes from last year's budget, the board is expecting an increase.
"We have additional personnel. We've expanded with more teachers and the cost of salaries has gone up," Chrislip said. "It will obviously impact the budget, but it will be nothing above the normal cost."
Board member Greg Neis said the board also takes into account an increase in student enrollment.
"We always build in an increase in enrollment," Neis said. "We will budget for 25 or 30 more students than we are expecting as part of the increase."
He said the money received for the projected growth of students is put into a risk management line item in the budget. That money is then used only if the district sees the actual increase in enrollment.
Much of the funding for the budget comes from the state legislature, board member Marion Johnson said.
"The state provides $3,820 per student," Johnson said. "That's the base cost."
Neis said last year, $5,011 was budgeted and spent for each student. The money the state doesn't provide for the budget is taken from property taxes.
The budget doesn't just include students and the cost of salaries, Neis said. Also covered in the budget are items like utilities, supplies, transportation, special education and food service.
"It covers absolutely everything you look at," he said.
Each year, the budget is put together by the district superintendent, Neis said.
"The budget is very complicated," he said. "If you're not used to working with it, it's a hard document to read.
"Since (board members) are unpaid and only go to meetings once a month, we don't have knowledge to set a budget. That's why we hire professionals to run the district."
Johnson said because of the change in the superintendent position this year, the district office staff has helped Superintendent Dan Bloom with the budget.
He said new district superintendent Dave Winans will also be able to help with the budget when he takes over the position at the first of the month.
"I anticipate some input into the budget from him," Johnson said. "It will depend on how comfortable he is with it."
Johnson said the total budget amount is not yet known at this time.
"There are still some decisions that need to be made by the board," he said. "We also don't know how much end-of-the-year cash we have yet. Books will be taken care of at the end of this month. We'll know even more by then."
The board will get the budget ready for publication in The Eudora News at the July meeting, Johnson said.
"The budget will be finalized and approved by the board at the August meeting," he said.