The Brookings-Harbor School District budget committee approved a $22.9 million budget on May 2 for the fiscal school year of 2013-14, and there will be no major cuts to the calendar year, no layoffs of teachers or staff, and no elimination of programs.
The school board is expected to make the final approval in June.
“We are not going to have any cut days, we are going to have a full calendar,” said Don Sweeney, director of fiscal services. “That’s the biggest thing, and not a lot of school districts are in that boat.”
The budget is $22,975,162, which is divided into four main categories: general funds – $14,173,249, special revenue funds – $6,028,041, debt service funds – $2,260,622; and capital projects funds – $513,250.
The general fund covers the daily operations of the schools, including salaries; the special revenue is set aside for Public Employee Retirement System (PERS); the debt service fund is to cover debts; and the capital projects is used for any current and future building projects.
“We are not going to spend $14 million dollars next year,” Sweeney said. “I would bet we are going to spend closer to $12.2 million actually spent.”
The money beyond the $12.2 million is set aside for unexpected things that may come up, such as paying for an additional substitute teacher or other emergencies. This year’s budget is $1,9 millions more than the 2012-13 school year.
The district will be hire one employee this year: a new nurse for all three campuses. The position will cost between $25,000 and $30,000. Sweeney said having a full-time nurse was a priority for the district. The nurse will be stationed out of Kalmiopsis Elementary School, but will cover all of the schools as needed.
“We need the nurse, so we will find the money,” Sweeney said.
One of the reasons the district is not laying off any staff is that two teachers are retiring or moving out of the area at the end of this year, he said.
The budget also includes about $88,000 for improving math instruction. The district will bring in specialized instructors to help the current teachers with their lesson plans, with hopes of improving the math scores district wide.
“We hope to improve our math scores in a way we have never had before,” Sweeney said. “(The Teachers Development Group) is going to spend four days at the beginning of the year improving our math curriculum.”
The specialized math instructors will also come to the middle and elementary schools to offer math coaching four times throughout the year. Those dates are to be determined.
According to Sweeney, the student-to-teacher ratio in classrooms is still in the “favorable” category: 21.24 students per teacher at Kalmiopsis Elementary School, 20.69 at Azalea Middle School and 19.46 at the Brookings-Harbor High School. The Brookings-Harbor district is close to or below the state median level of 21.6 students-to-teachers.
Improving classroom technology is also part of the budget. The district has set aside $83,156 for new computers and possibly Smart Boards or monitors for classrooms.
Remodeling of the alternative high school Pacific Bridges is also planned, pending the sale of Upper Chetco School. The remodeling is part of the district’s strategy to win back at least half of the 92 students who have left the district for homeschooling or online learning.
According to Baron Guido, special education director, 12 to 20 students who are not currently enrolled in the district are likely to return when the remodeling is complete.
“Really, we are just converting two assets, one asset that we don’t use at all and one asset that is kind of dilapidated into a better asset,” Sweeney said about the remodeling.