Thursday, July 29, 2004/lk
MABTON - Mabton School District's new superintendent, Sandra Pasiero-Davis, attended her first Mabton School Board meeting Wednesday night, learning her budget for the coming year will be slightly smaller than last year's.
Saying a number of the district's funding sources would be contributing smaller amounts to the District's treasury, Charlie Plesha, the district assistant superintendent, said the district has budgeted $9,105,435 in the general fund, down from last year's budget of $9,658,227.
Plesha, who presented the budget to the Board, said the district is losing funds from the Century 21 grant, as well as some levy equalization funds.
"We also have several grants which are ending, reducing our revenues," he told the board.
Plesha also predicts revenue losses of $35,000 in other high school programs.
Like other districts, Mabton will be paying more for special education this year, which is also taking away from the district's budget.
"We will be expected to pay nearly 44 percent of special education costs, which will be a hardship for us," he said.
"The budget, while being a bit smaller than the 2003-04 budget, still covers all programs, just a slightly smaller degree than last year, " he explained.
The district is reapplying for a number of the available learning grants, he added.
"We had hoped to do better in the funding, but some of grants are just up in the air," he said.
"We will probably know if we will be receiving them by mid- August," he explained.
Plesha said the district is coming to the end of its 21st Century grant, which provided the district with $271,872 last year for after-school activities.
"We hope to receive that amount again," he told the Board, noting the district hasn't yet heard yet if Mabton's request will be approved.
He said the district will be operating it own GEAR-UP programs next school year, budgeting $141,000, which is less than if Mabton allowed for an outside agency to operate the program.
Plesha said the district will be receiving funds for its advanced placement programs in the amount of $30,000 to be distributed over the next three years.
"We are moving into the second year of our Reading First budget, which will give us $150,000," said Plesha.
In other funding areas, the transportation budget has been set at $112,000, which includes money for a new bus. Mabton won't be undertaking any capital projects in the coming year, so just $525,000 has been funded in that budget. Funds have been set aside in the amount of $147,550 to cover payments on two bonds in the debt service fund. The district's ASB Fund has been allotted $78,000 for student activities. The budget covers the needs of an enrollment of 850 students.
"We expect to be up by 70 students (from last year)," Plesha said.
. Julia Hart can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or you can e-mail her at email@example.com