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Petersburg School Board approves 2016 budget


The state still hasn’t decided on a budget, but the Petersburg School District has.

The school board approved the district’s 2016 budget during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening in assembly chambers.

Finance Director Karen Quitslund said Petersburg schools’ are looking at an $8.4 million general fund next year.

“Well this has certainly been a very interesting budget year,” she said, adding she may not have survived it if it had been her first year in the job.

While there are still uncertainties, the district’s budget is due to the state by July 15, which is why it needed to be approved this month.

Despite a projected increase in students, from an Average Daily Membership of 431 to 442, revenue is expected to fall.

The district isn’t including HB278’s $150,000 in the budget or the $30,000 a food grant no longer funded would typically provide.

It could potentially lose more if the Healthy Living grant goes unfunded.

There’s no increase in borough funds, but the Base Student Allocation (BSA) formula is looking to still get a $50 increase, though that’s not even 100 percent.

The $8.4 million general fund is supported through areas like the foundation program at $5.7 million, the federal E-Rate program offsetting internet costs and, to a lesser extent, local revenue and student fees.

Eight percent of the total budget is special revenue - $714,878 - made up of items such as transportation, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Indian education funds from the state.

So the district is looking at a total revenue of $9.1 million.

Expenditures include $3.7 million for instruction and $1.3 million for maintenance. Money is also being transferred out to save up for services such as food and transportation to be “fiscally responsible,” Quitslund said.

She noted that maintenance has done a great job at lowering costs through energy saving methods.

The district is looking at roughly $8.4 million in expenditures.

The budget, based off what administrators knew during the time of presentation, was approved unanimously by the school board minus Sarah Holmgrain, who was absent.

In other school news, the board also approved the hiring of elementary teachers Heather Conn, Lisa Schramek and Mary Midkiff, along with high school life sciences and math teacher Alice Cumps.

Petersburg High Principal Rick Dormer said Cumps has been student teaching at the high school for the last year and will be taking over for Joni Johnson.

The high school is still in the process of hiring teachers.

“I feel really good about the people we’re hiring,” Superintendent Erica Kludt-Painter said.

The board also approved minor changes to handbook policies for next year.


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