Though administrators in the Vandalia Community School District have a pretty good handle on the expense lines in their budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, they don’t have a clue what’s in store on the revenue side.
“The revenues are very unclear at this time,” Superintendent Rich Well told members of the Vandalia Board of Education at their monthly meeting Tuesday night.
“We just don’t know what the state is going to do.”
The result is that the budget now on display at the district office shows a deficit of $683,209.
The details of that budget will take shape during the next few weeks as the district prepares for its budget hearing on Sept. 21, but state law requires the district to have a budget on display.
“A lot of things could change in the next month,” Well said. “We’re hearing that transportation funding is supposed to be cut 42 percent. Last year, we received only one of four payments in transportation. In fact, the state still owes us about $700,000 from last year.
“The only thing we know for sure on the revenue side is what we’re getting from local property taxes.”
The board did approve the annual budget for the Okaw Area Vocational Center.
That budget, which shows a deficit of $16,000, has been approved by the superintendents of the 12 participating districts. It must be approved by at least one school board, so the Vandalia board – representing the host school – gave its approval Tuesday night.
Despite the deficit in the 2010-11 budget, the Okaw center has a fund balance of nearly $250,000. Okaw Center Director Darrell Fesser told the board that 267 students were enrolled in the 13 programs offered there for the coming year.
Those courses include: auto body, auto mechanics, building trades, commercial art, drafting, electronics, food service, health occupations, justice/corrections, machine shop, office/technology, power mechanics and welding.
In other business, Well reported that work is progressing on the boiler replacement projects at the high school and Jefferson Primary School. He also said that a window replacement project at the high school will be done in September and October. Those window units are failing and had become a safety hazard.
In the reports from building principals, several expressed their support of the district-wide registration events that were held recently at the junior high building. The vast majority of students registered at that time, they said.
The school year officially gets under way this week, with a teachers’ institute on Thursday and the first day of classes on Friday (with an 11:45 a.m. dismissal). Because of the heat, all schools will dismiss an hour early until after Labor Day.
Vandalia Community High School Principal Randy Protz reminded the board that the schedule for homecoming will be changed this year. All homecoming-related events will be held on Friday, Sept. 24, with the naming of the king and queen being done at halftime of the football game, and the dance following the football game.
Well reported that the district’s fund balance of $3.48 million continues to give the district a financial cushion, and keeps it from having to borrow money to operate the district until tax revenues and state payments are received.
At the end of the hour-long meeting, the board took the following action:
• Approved coaching and sponsor employment: Dana Kirk as seventh-grade girls basketball coach, Brandon Taylor as VCHS golf coach, Amber Daulbaugh as varsity girls basketball assistant coach and Ruth Chesney as seventh- and eighth-grade student council co-sponsor.
• Approved the employment of Jenna Lester as VCHS cheerleading sponsor.
• Approved the employment of Mary Eisenbarth as a teacher’s aide at VCHS.
• Approved the VCHS band’s plans for a trip to Washington, D.C., from April 18-23.
• Approved the annual district budget meeting for 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 21.
• Approved the establishment of a petty cash account by the district, with the amount not to exceed $100.
• Approved a resolution to transfer funds to the Tort account to pay insurance premiums.
• Approved the destruction of executive session audio tapes older than 18 months.
• Approved the first reading of ISBE policy updates.
• Approved the updated handbook for non-exempt employees.
• Approved the district’s food safety plan.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 p.m.