In economic times that are forcing many other area school districts to cut costs and staff, East Valley’s proposed 2008-09 budget will restore some of the $1.8 million in budget items that were cut in the spring of 2007.
The district will add five full-time teachers, mostly in special education. The 3.3 new classified positions will restore the health room assistants that were cut in 2007. During the 2007-08 school year, the district had restored four teaching positions and three classified positions after the cuts. Other items, such as high school textbooks, summer school and library staff, were also restored earlier this year.
The district has conservatively estimated fall enrollment at 3,932 students, 20 fewer than the number enrolled in June. If more students than planned enroll, then more staff will be added.
Places in which the district is feeling the pinch include the food services and transportation budgets. The cost of food services will rise from $1,620,309 to $1,661,219. That number assumes, however, that the district will cut six staff hours per day and increase lunch prices by 7.4 percent, which the board has not yet approved. Just over $52,000 of the increase is directly attributable to higher food prices. “We all know what’s happening in the grocery stores with food,” said business manager Al Swanson.
The transportation budget will increase from $1,509,896 to $1,613,016, with nearly $54,000 of the increase reserved for higher fuel prices.
Those inflationary increases are not a big part of the overall budget. “They’re very significant to those programs,” Swanson said. “They are increases that are very much justified.”
The proposed budget includes $41,625,847 in expenditures versus $41,562,545 in revenue, with the deficit taken from the district’s $1.7 million in reserves. The board of directors will consider approving the budget and make the final decision on lunch prices at its next meeting on Aug. 19. A public hearing on the budget will begin at 5 p.m.