Board of Education to hear preliminary budget figures

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education will be presented with a preliminary budget at tonight’s board meeting that to date is not balanced, but at the present time is not a cause of great concern for the district’s administration.

“We feel good about our balances,” Superintendent Brad Pollitt told The Democrat Friday morning. “It’s a situation of a more unbalanced budget than one where we are deficit spending.

“We were able to provide our teachers and staff with a nice raise to reward them for their efforts and also fully fund their insurance,” Pollitt added. “We have also been able to make needed additions to our facilities.”

The district’s projected revenue is $47,886,426 with their expenditures projected to be $51,156,557. The net shortfall is projected at $3,270,131.

According to Dr. Harriett Wolfe, who is responsible for the district’s budget, the District currently has 54.5 percent in reserves.

“We are using some of our reserve funds to pay for the projected $3 million shortfall,” Wolfe said in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. “The reason for the shortfall is the cost of the new freshmen wing, which we had been planning for and the fact that we were able to add $978 to the teacher’s salary base,” she added. Starting base salary for a teacher in the Sedalia district is $34,500.

According to Pollitt, the district is facing a 7 percent increase in transportation costs, an 8 percent increase in health care and a 3 percent increase in food service costs, for an 18 percent increase in essential services to the district.

“As our student enrollment continues to grow, we have to meet the demands for that growth,” Pollitt said. “While a growing district does drive more state and federal monies, there is still a large portion of funding that we are required to provide at the local level.

“We are still committed to build the addition at Smith-Cotton without a tax increase to the district’s patrons and we are blessed to be able to do that,” Pollitt added.

The board will hear a report on the building project including a proposed timeline for completion. Members will be given a tour of the nearly completed work on the freshman infill area of the C wing at the high school.

The district’s maintenance staff has completed most of that work. The staff has also begun work on the Harriet Wolfe Media Center, which will be renovated as part of the new additional classrooms to be built at the school.

In other actions, the board is expected to vote on a contract with Bothwell Regional Health Center to provide continued athletic training services to the district. According to Pollitt, the services provided by Bothwell will increase under the terms of the agreement, but there is a $600 reduction to the school district to the cost of the services provided.

One additional service that will be provided if the board votes to accept the contract is a concussion seminar for the Sedalia 200 coaching staff to be hosted July 17.

The board will also:

• Hear a proposal to hire the firm of Fick, Eggemeyer, and Williamson, CPA to provide a yearly audit for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 school years. The yearly audit is needed to ensure that the district is meeting all state and federal regulations in the district’s business practices.

• Hear an update by Pat Sturgiss, health services supervisor, regarding the services that are provided to district students by the 11 nurses who are employed in the district.

• Hear a proposal to hire the firm of Engineering Surveys and Services to provided core sample testing and site management evaluations for the additions to Smith-Cotton.

The board will also be presented quarterly building and attendance reports.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Smith- Cotton High School media center, 2010 Tiger Pride Blvd. For more information, call the central office at 829-6450.

Sedalia Democrat
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