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The school district reviewed its tentative proposed school budget for the 2000-2001 school year. The tentative figure, which the board cautioned is preliminary and still under review, is $76,354,598, up $5,410,445 from the current year's budget of $70,944,153, or an increase of 7.63.

The new budget reflects an increase in student population of 129 for 2000-2001 school year, the difference between 4,277 for the current year and the projected enrollment for 2000-01 of 4,406.

Looking at the budget summary, a large increase in personnel services or salaries is shown on this line, up $3,302,905 or 7.48 change from 1999. This reflects an additional (tentative) 19.7 staff positions, in addition to the usual negotiated salary increases plus step movement.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Larry Blake explained some of the other large increase items.

The 47.87 rise in textbook expenditure is a result of the district completing classroom sets of textbooks in the middle school. Also the additional new classroom sections due to the increased enrollment are a factor in the increase. Also adding to the increase is some emphasis in curriculum areas. Mr. Blake noted that textbook aid has increased substantially, so some of the additional expenditures will be reimbursed.

The 11.71 percent, or $1,186,876, increase in employee benefits is attributable mainly to significant health insurance increases for all categories, including both the active employees and retired employees, single or family.

The 21.66 interfund transfers involve capital projects. Mr. Blake stressed that this amount, $1,032,604, is tentative and is currently being reviewed by the board. The cost of portables accounts for the largest portion of this increase. Four new portables are needed at Weber, in addition to two portables each at Manorhaven and Guggenheim. These short-term facilities solutions are currently being discussed by the staff.

Also the lease payments from last year for the portables at Daly and Schreiber are due and included in this item.

Other capital projects being contemplated for next year's budget are bleacher replacement at Schreiber and the gatehouse roofwork.

Though not listed in the budget summary by object shown above, an increase of $441,119, or 15.42 percent, in transportation is a result of a general three percent increase over last year's cost, due in part to increased enrollment. Additionally $180,000 has been added to provide late buses for nonpublic schools, Schreiber and Weber.

The actual tax bite to residents will be available after the district receives the new assessment rolls from the county, which is expected by April 1. Mr. Blake advises that at the April 4 Board of Education meeting, the revenues coming into the district will be available and the tax impacts reviewed.


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