By Kathy Dzewaltowski
The board spent the majority of the meeting discussing budget reductions, which are necessary to address state tax shortfalls. Information released by the governor’s office indicated that the state would be stopping equalization aid for capital outlay and reducing the amount schools receive for the Local Option Budget. Another option that had previously been alluded to was a reduction of 1.5%. Many larger districts don’t receive any equalization aid and will not be affected by this possible reduction. State base per pupil funding is currently $3,852 and might drop to $3,810. The information from the governor’s office also indicated that because school districts have reserve funds, reductions in state funding may not affect them that much if they use their reserves.
Lew Faust, business services director, presented options to help address funding reductions, which included funding a roof project at MHS West Campus with remaining funds front he 2008 bond instead of using capital outlay, and also to delay a roof project at MHS East Campus to next year. Using the remaining bond funds for the roof would free up funds in the capital outlay budget and allow them to be used for custodial and skilled maintenance salaries.