May 17, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 20

School board passes $8.7 million balanced budget

The Petersburg School District Board unanimously approved the $8.7 million balanced budget Tuesday night. The budget calls for 78 percent of the funding to come from the state and foundation, 20 percent from city and the remaining 2 percent in local revenues comes from various grants and donations.

The expenditures for next year have not changed much from FY12. The district is expected to spend 72 percent of its budget on instruction. The remaining budget goes toward heating, maintenance, landscaping, equipment and other costs.

“To have a balanced budget at this point, in a time with all the financial things that have happened, shows what a good, conscientious job people of the school district have done spending our money carefully … and doing a good job of providing an education within the limitations that we have. I'm very pleased with that,” said School Board President Jean Ellis.

Also during the meeting, the board awarded a 2012-15 pupil transportation contract to Stikine Services for $938.00 total daily cost. Stikine Services has been providing transportation services for the past 12 years.

The board heard a presentation from the High School and Middle School librarian on the plans for the renovation project this summer. The project will include re-painting, re-carpeting, a new production lab and many other improvements. Cafe tables, hanging lights and new chairs will also be featured in the library.

“It's not your grandmother's library, it's not your mother's library, it's your library and it does not have to be quiet,” Cotta said.

The goal is to have students that are literate in many areas and lifelong learners, Cotta said.

The board also approved a list of obsolete, duplicate and damaged library books for recycling.

Many changes are being implemented into the Food Services program. New USDA guidelines call for more vegetables and fruits and whole grains.

“We want to support academics and we want to provide safe and healthy food,” said Food Services Director Carlee Wells.

After taking an audit of the nutrition of the food offered through the breakfast and lunch program, Wells made minor changes such as cutting down on the amount of times black olives are served, and changed from using canned vegetables to frozen vegetables to cut down on overall sodium. She also cut down on the amount of times eggs are served, or available at the salad bar, to trim down on cholesterol.

The board approved a change in price for lunches and breakfasts available through Food Services. Starting with the 2012-13 school year, the student breakfast price for all students will be $2.00 and the student lunch for all students will be $3.25. The adult breakfast decreased to $3.00.

The board accepted Jill Wagner’s resignation, effective at the end of the 2011-12. She will be returning to Switzerland to teach. And the board approved the hiring of Daniel van Swearingen for the .6 swim/PE position for next school year.

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