School board OKs a deficit budget

The Vandalia Board of Education approved a deficit budget for the district’s new fiscal year, but, as has been the case in recent years, the final outcome will be dependant upon the receipt of funds from the state.
Because of that ongoing uncertainty, Superintendent of Schools Rich Well said, “Traditionally, this is the type of budget (conservative) that we have approved.”
The conservative budget includes low estimates for revenues and high estimates for expenditures.
District Business Manager Lori Meseke presented the budget to the school board during a budget hearing that preceded last Tuesday’s regular meeting.
In the education (operating) fund, revenues are estimated at $11,240,663 and expenditures are estimated at $12,577,488. That leaves a deficit of $1,336,825.
Meseke explained that with the transfer of $720,000 from the working cash fund, the projected balance for the education fund at the end of the fiscal year is $2,553,971.
For all district operating funds, revenues and transfers total $13,498,182, while expenditures and transfers total $14,796,432. Those leave a deficit of $1,298,250.
The deficit figures, Well said, “are not numbers that surprised us – this is part of the whole process (transferring working cash funds).
In 2013, the district took on a working cash bonds issue that allowed the district to retain teachers, he said.
“We said that this (issue) was two years, for sure, and this is the second year,” Well said in explaining the transfer of funds to the education fund.
“We have 100-percent confidence that we will end up better than this (projected deficit) at the end of the year,” Well said.
Meseke said that revenues in the operations and maintenance fund are estimated at $851,991 and expenditures at $848,759, leaving a surplus of $3,232. The balance in that fund on June 30 of next year is estimated at $684,502.
In the transportation fund, revenues are $630,713 and expenditures are $650,185, resulting in a $19,472 deficit during the budget term. The fund balance on June 30 of next year is estimated at $251,695.
Well said that another issue that causes some uncertainty with district figures is the implementation of the new 1-to-1 program and the issuance of Chromebooks to high school students.
The district is paying $85,000 upfront for the Chromebooks, which may be purchased by the students.
It's an added expense for the district, Well said, "But we know that's what is best for preparing our kids educationally."
During the regular meeting, the board:
• Approved the district’s annual joint agreement with the Okaw Area Vocational Center.
• Approved a resolution authorizing conveyance of the 2015 OAVC building trades house to Nancy and Ken Gebke.
• Approved the employment of Jim Dierkes as the girls seventh-grade basketball coach and Joe Daniken as the co-adviser for the high school student council.
• Approved oil and tire bids: Huels Oil Co. – $470.80 a barrel for 15W40 oil, $373.45 a barrel for 5W30 oil and $931.70 a barrel for transmission fluid; and South Central FS – $23,320.56 for 80 tires.

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