School board gets financial update

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By Dave Bell

The Vandalia Board of Education held an abbreviated meeting Monday night, with 40 minutes of the meeting’s 70 minutes being taken up by an executive session to discuss personnel.
As he went over the district’s finances, Superintendent of Schools Rich Well told the board that at the midpoint of the district’s fiscal year, total expenditures are at 51 percent of the annual budget.
On the revenue side, Well said that the district has received 65 percent of the anticipated revenues for the school year.
That includes all of the local property tax monies that will be coming, leaving only the twice-monthly payments from the state.
Most of the district’s funds have received about 95-99 percent of the anticipated revenues, with the exception of the education fund (54 percent) and transportation fund (64 percent).
Those two funds receive payments from the state throughout the year, though the state frequently has been late in sending the payments in recent years.
The district’s total operating balance at the end of December was $4.69 million, which is down about $760,000 from last year at this time. The district has accumulated that surplus to bridge the gaps in funds coming from the state, but last year had to use some of the surplus to keep programs going when state aid was cut.
“It’s about where we expected to be, based on the loss of state revenue,” Well said.
On the technology front, the district has replaced its server and increased its available bandwidth to enhance computer capabilities in the district.
All district principals presented their reports on activities in their buildings.
At the end of the meeting, the board took the following action:
• Approved the 2013-14 school calendar. Changes from the current year include starting the school year on a Monday (Aug. 19) rather than a partial day on the previous Friday, and a shorter spring break (April 17, 18 and 21).
• Approved a maternity leave for Amber Conner (a VCHS biology teacher), beginning about April 26 and continuing through the end of the school year.