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School district diving into the 2014-15 budget


The document will include money for reinstating full-day kindergarten

The Crook County School District presented its 2014-15 academic year budget in the amount of $78,245,364 to the school board at Monday night’s meeting, held at Pioneer High School.

The school board held an open forum prior to its regular meeting to accept public input on the budget.

Two parents spoke, Janice and Wayde Flegel, questioning the appropriateness of assessing student fees for activities in which all students may not be taking part.

“I'm not a fan of the fee schedule,” commented Wayde Flegel, “For example, the senior fee goes to the prom and skip day. If kids aren’t participating it should be more of a levy to those that take part in those things. We encourage you to look at the upcoming year fee schedules and see that it applies to kids that will actually utilize the fees.”

Director of Business and Finance Anna Logan explained that the senior fee is added to the students account to use in conjunction with any money gotten via fund-raising efforts.

“The students pay for their senior trip, flowers and decorations for graduation and sometimes a senior lunch,” said Logan, “If they have anything left over, they may buy a gift for the school upon graduation. In any case, the student body is in charge of the funds.”

Janice Flegel recalled her years in high school when students would raise any money they needed on their own.

“It would be nice if the school board would let students do more fundraisers,” she said. “All students shouldn’t have to pay for the small fraction of kids who actually take part in activities. “

Wade Flegel also mentioned his concern about the status of the Dual Language Program.

“If you are looking to move the program to the new school with Jim Bates overseeing it, maybe it would be wise for him to interact with it this coming year,” he said.

Bates responded by assuring him that all three elementary school principals were actively involved in resolving issues with the program and moving it forward.

In presenting the budget to the board, Logan provided documents that showed the budget to be an increase of $205,457 over last year, an approximate three-tenths of 1 percent increase.

Of the budgeted amount, $20,876,645 comes from state sources with another $3,149,861 from the federal government. The local taxpayers portion of the budget is $13,207,579, up from $13,145,064 from last year’s budget, and represents a proposed school tax rate of $4.7856 per $1,000.

The budget is comprised of $33,632,395 for the general fund, $7,982,790 for special revenue, $4,430,179 for current debt service and $32,200,000 for capital projects. Another $5,920,900 is designated as an unappropriated ending fund balance, carried over from the previous year.

The budget projects an enrollment increase in all schools to be 24 students — from 3,528 students to 3,552, a 1 percent increase. The general fund component of the budget, $33,632,395, therefore, represents a cost of education per student of $9,468.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation's elementary-secondary public school systems spent an average of $10,615 per pupil in fiscal year 2010, up 1.1 percent from 2009.

Some of the new budget initiatives for 2014-15 include an additional $39,039 for a half-time position for the third-grade Dual Language Program, $17,500 in increased athletic travel team costs due to a reformatting of school leagues, $10,000 for bus services for the Kiwanis summer school program, $6,500 for a portable sound system for school board meetings, $186,000 to provide a technology support person in each school building, the addition of a high school secretary at $39,000, $87,000 for elementary music education, $150,000 for a Human Resources Director and $350,000 to adhere to the full-time kindergarten requirement.

Board member Doug Smith made the motion to approve the budget as submitted with Gwen Carr seconding. With no further discussion, the budget passed by a vote of five in favor and none opposed.

The complete budget can be found at crookcounty.k12.or.us/files/2014/05/2014-2015-Approved-Budget-CCSD.pdf.