August 27, 2011 in Washington Voices

School boards approve budgets

By The Spokesman-Review

With the first day of school just around the corner, school boards have been busy approving the budgets for the coming year.

• In the East Valley School District, the board approved the 2011-’12 budget Tuesday during its regular meeting. There are five funds that make up the budget: general, associated student body, debt service, capital projects and the transportation vehicle funds.

The general fund includes revenues of around $44.8 million and expenditures of about $44.7 million. It includes cuts in state funding from local effort assistance, and the Learning Assistance Program. The district will receive an increase in state funds for special education.

The budget was created using an estimated 4,400 full-time equivalent students – an increase of 122 FTEs over last year. Staffing for this year will be about 296 full-time equivalent staff members, a decrease of 1.84 FTEs.

Certificated salaries will be reduced by 1.9 percent based on the state salary allocation. Administrative salaries will be in line with the cuts to the state allocation of 3 percent. Classified employees’ salaries were not cut.

• In the West Valley School District on Wednesday, the school board approved its 2011-’12 budget for its five funds as well.

The general fund includes around $35.2 million in revenues and around $35 million in expenditures.

The budget was created using an estimated 3,628 student FTEs, down by almost 100 students. Staffing has been reduced through attrition to reflect the smaller student population.

Assistant Superintendent Gene Sementi said the district has completed its contract negotiations with the classified administrators who have agreed to a 3 percent cut in state allocated funds in their salaries. The non-represented classified staff will see a 1.9 percent salary cut; they might use furlough days for those cuts.

Sementi said there are three options being discussed with the coaches, athletics and activities group: a 1.9 percent salary cut, cutting elementary C squad athletics and a four-day middle school sports week.

Deputy Superintendent Doug Matson said the maintenance workers group has agreed to a 1.9 percent salary cut to the funds allocated from the state which will be seen when the workers take two furlough days during the week of the Fourth of July next year. Classified employees who work a total of 190 days have also agreed to a 1.9 percent cut in the state allocated funds to their salaries, to be seen when they take two furlough days over the course of the school year.

Superintendent Polly Crowley said negotiations are still under way with both the West Valley Principals’ Association and the West Valley Education Association.

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