A preliminary fiscal year 2014 budget for the Newburg R-II School District includes the purchase of new English/reading textbooks, step increases for all faculty and staff and the addition of at least two teachers.

A preliminary fiscal year 2014 budget for the Newburg R-II School District includes the purchase of new English/reading textbooks, step increases for all faculty and staff and the addition of at least two teachers.

Newburg School Board members during their May 16 meeting were given a copy of a preliminary budget summary for the new fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Superintendent John Westerman said the new budget could be approved at the board’s June meeting, or the board could vote to extend the current fiscal year budget through July and adopt a budget for the 2013-14 school year in July.

According to Westerman’s summary of the preliminary budget proposal, the new budget “is one that is balanced with a positive projected revenue increase of about $55,000 for the fiscal year 2014.”

Westerman noted that both revenues and expenditures have been reduced from the current fiscal year 2013 budget year.

The proposed fiscal year ’14 budget includes $4,374,362 in revenue.

Westerman noted that federal cuts because of the sequester affected the budget in some ways. For one, county revenue took a $6,521 cut in the federal properties tax fund reimbursement from U.S. Forest Service land in the county. Additionally, federal revenue took a $53,993 cut in Title and school lunch programs funding.

Projected state funding that the district is expected to receive totals $2,120,824.

The fiscal year 2014 formula is being funded at a 2 percent higher rate than the fiscal year 2013 formula, Westerman noted.

“For that we are grateful," Westerman said, however, he told the board that the state basic formula and classroom trust fund (CTF) combined total of $1,952,736 is still 5 percent short of being fully funded under the formula.

In fact, under the formula, the Newburg School District should be receiving $2,062,023, which translates to a $109,287 shortfall.

Westerman informed the board that both houses in the state legislature voted to fund public elementary and secondary education at an amount which translates to 94.47 percent of the foundation formula.

Forty percent of the district’s CTF monies, which are funds received from gaming, casinos and the lottery, next year will go into the capital projects in order to rebuild that fund, according to Westerman.

The budget also contains $4,311,662 in projected expenditures, including the following:

• Step increases for all faculty and staff amounting to $60,960 in salaries and benefits. The step increases were among the recommendations that the district’s salary committee made and Westerman agreed with. Later in the meeting the board unanimously approved the step increases.

• An increase of $24,570 in health insurance premiums.

• About $77,000 for new common core aligned reading/literature textbooks and software for grades pre-kindergarten through 12.

• The addition of a half-time early childhood teacher to teach 3-year-olds.

• A behavioral disabilities classroom teacher to handle the new students scheduled to arrive in the district beginning in August. Westerman said the district will eliminate an aide position at the middle school and add a teacher for a difference of $17,619 in salary and benefits.
Westerman explained that Dr. Bob Bretsch opened a behavioral group home for boys in the old Arlington Hotel and expects to have five students enroll in the district in August and up to 12 by January.

Space also will be provided for the students. Westerman added that the class could be for any student who moves into the district, not just boys at the home.

In other business

• Also at the meeting, Westerman reviewed legislative updates affecting schools from this past session.

• The board approved amendments to the fiscal year 2013 budget.

• The board heard results of a PLC (professional learning communities) survey.

• Board members Diana Dean and Clay Austin talked about the superintendent evaluation process and the board watched a Missouri School Board Associations video on the evaluations.

• The board approved seeking bids for bread, milk, propane, diesel and banking.

• Board members approved hiring Hailey Reppond as a first-grade classroom teacher.

• The board approved the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) accountability plan 2.0.

• In addition to the step increases, the salary committee also made requests for the district to provide a base pay of $30,000 compared to $28,400 currently; for teachers to be able to bring in all of their years of service when they are hired (currently that is capped at 10 years in the Newburg district); for the district to increase the amount paid when sick leave is brought back; a share leave program; a new leave policy which states eligible certified staff have available 13 days of personal leave per school year and a cumulative to 63 days; and for improved “communication” with the central office. Westerman said he would work on the communication request, but all other requests were tabled.