Today the school board budget committee is reviewing the district’s multi-million dollar budget.
Pegge Erkeneff with the district said committee members will review the current practices and procedures used to develop the expenditure budget and will also review how federal, state, and local revenues are determined. Suggestions for changes or improvements to the FY15 (2014-2015) budget will be received and discussed.
We had previously spoke to Superintendent Dr. Steve Atwater who explained the process.
Dr. Atwater: “The board’s first step is to look at how to reduce $1.2 million in expenditures and that was the majority of what happened today and then in November they will make a recommendation with regard to staffing levels. With regard to streamlining it we will have some more options offered to them in November where we look at schools like Homer Middle and Seward High School and figure how they might fit in a different way. The problem when you have a large district like ours with all these different scenarios and different sizes is that its not a clean fit, you can’t get these schools to cleanly fit into these boxes which is what the formula tries to do.”
We had also spoke to the School Board President Joe Arness who said, this task is not a simple one.
Arness: “The only solution is to work with the formula, we used to look at schools individually and that is a nightmare and with 40+ different sites and different situations and different grade configurations you don’t want it to turn into a political struggle and so it has to be by formula, we will manipulate that formula and work with it as well as look at our other expenditures to determine what we need to adjust our budget by however amount of dollars and this is how we can best do it.”