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School Board adopts budget, spends insurance savings

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 12th, 2013

The South Lane School District Board of Directors adopted a budget for the 2013-14 school year on Monday evening that included more funding for a teaching position, athletics, math curricula and other items than its previously approved budget.

On May 13, the district budget committee approved a $26,783,039 budget that included a full school calendar for the first time in several years and the addition of four teaching positions. On Monday, the School Board voted to adopt a budget containing even more add-backs, including funding for a first-grade teacher at Bohemia Elementary, $25,000 to fund athletics at its full rate and about a dozen class leadership positions.

South Lane Superintendent Krista Parent explained that the District had recently completed contract negotiations with both its teaching and classified staff. Estimates for the cost of teachersí insurance had been low, Parent said, to the tune of about $1000 per employee or a potential savings of about $250,000, depending on the insurance plans the teachers choose.

As part of the negotiations with the teachers, Parent said, their cost of living allowance was increased from one percent to 1.25 percent in response to the insurance savings. Thus, the adopted budget reflected an increase in payroll on some line items and a decrease in costs in others for no net change.

Parent said she drew guidance on where to spend the insurance savings from a wish list prepared by the budget committee this year should extra funding be found before the budget was adopted. The list included the first-grade teacher at Bohemia, fully funded athletics, more educational assistants for special education and other items. The adopted budget will fund the first-grade teacher, the alignment of coaches in the district with the appropriate pay schedule (which Parent said had been cut the previous two years), $10,000 for math programs at the middle-school level and $30,000 in math curriculum upgrades at Cottage Grove and Kennedy High Schools. Parent said that it may also be possible to add certain sports back into the list of the districtís offerings, depending upon how current coaching vacancies are filled.

For the complete article see the 06-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-12-2013 paper.

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