Jul 212014

By Tammy Gray

A $6.3 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year was approved by the Joseph City School District Governing Board July 8.

The total includes $3.9 million for maintenance and operations, which is down by approximately five percent from the previous fiscal year when $4.1 million was budgeted for those areas. The remaining major expenditures include $670,463 for debt service, $379,850 for federal projects, $365,005 in capital outlay, $286,257 in classroom site funds and $168,001 for food services. Other smaller expenditures include state projects, auxiliary operations and contingency funds.

While spending for debt service is up by about 10 percent over the previous fiscal year, spending in nearly all other areas is down, including state and federal projects, both of which are down by about 10 percent.

The lion’s share of the maintenance and operations budget will pay for the salaries of teachers, administrators and support staff. Much of the remainder will be used for instructional materials, activities and programs, and repair and maintenance of school facilities.

Changes to funding have changed the staff to student ratio. For the upcoming school year, the anticipated teacher to student ratio is expected to be one full-time teacher for every 14.5 students, while the teacher’s aide to student ratio is estimated at one aide for every 38.2 students. This includes a total of 29 full-time teachers and 11 teacher’s aides. The district anticipates employing a total of three special education teachers, making the ratio of special education teachers one for every 22 students, however, five staff members will be supporting those teachers at a ratio of one staff member for every 13.2 students.

In other business, the board made the decision to modify the entrance fees to student athletic events, allowing senior citizens and local business owners to obtain a free season pass to all sporting events.

In other action July 8, the board:

* Approved a lead maintenance position and salary schedule revision.

* Approved a revision to the district’s technology user agreement.

* Approved student activity fees.

* Approved the use of school facilities by the community.

* Approved a dual enrollment agreement with Northland Pioneer College.

* Awarded a contract for food services to Southwest Food Service.

* Approved travel by members of the governing board to the Arizona School Boards Association Law Conference scheduled in September in Phoenix.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12.