White River board eyes preliminary budget

The White River School Board has been hashing over the school district’s budget since the beginning of the year, but gave the preliminary budget a once over at a workshop June 24.

A public hearing on the 2009-10 budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 13 in the district board room. The board is also scheduled to approve the budget that same night.

The preliminary budget stayed true to predictions with $3 million in reductions to bring it down to $38 million, but several uncertainties remain. Superintendent Tom Lockyer and Business Manager Mona Moan explained to the board there are still funding unknowns from the state and federal levels.

“We know the numbers you have here are going to change, but they’re in the ballpark,” Lockyer said.

District officials are basing the 2009-10 budget on a loss of 96 students, as well as the reduction of certificated staff and classified staff. The district also dropped funding for programs like camp and summer school.

Even areas where the district can make up losses were down like food services and tax collection.

Moan did note some noticeable increases that were made in the budget like setting aside an additional $10,000 to cover postage increases; setting aside $30,000 for the cost of putting its upcoming maintenance and operation levy on the ballot; additional days for certificated staff and step increases is salaries.

A bright spot, Lockyer noted, was the district does have 40 prekindergarten students registered for its newly-offered program. Plans are firming up to to house those classrooms at Mountain Meadow and Elk Ridge elementary schools.

In other business, the board:

• gave kudos to the deputy superintendent and staff for the well-attended professional learning community workshop. The two-day event drew 220 participants from across the Northwest. Plans to present again next year.

• approved a donation of $7,211 from the Mountain Meadow PTA to purchase eight laptops for classroom use.

• approved the campus security officer salary schedule.

• accepted resignations from longterm substitute custodian Gary Burley and teachers Roderick Lobdell and Kerstin Fiest.

• hired longterm substitute Hannah Amburgey and teacher James Bolton.

• approved the AP environmental science textbook.

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