A public hearing has been set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 27, before the next regular meeting of the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education to consider the school district’s general fund budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
At Monday’s regular meeting, business office consultant Mike Dixon laid out the current numbers which show the district will present a deficit budget of $3,908,884 to the state.
Then, Van Buren will have to present a deficit reduction plan to the state within 30 days.
Dixon said presently the district is looking at a $470 reduction in state aid per pupil, but the district can get $500 back per pupil if it meets certain criteria.
“We’re trying to get that one-time revenue,” Dixton said.
Trustee Scott Russell had asked for an estimate of how much would be saved by shutting one elementary school and the figure came up to $708,561.
The proposed budget of $53,037,185 includes reduction in staff totaling $2,336,145.
Russell asked for the implications of “consciously submitting” a deficit budget. Toth noted, “By law you have to adopt a balanced budget.”
Dixon said it’s better to adopt a real budget and then file a deficit elimination plan. After the state approves the plan, that puts the district in compliance with law.
In other business at Monday’s meeting, the board:
• Discussed proposed budget reductions for the 2011-12 budget, which will be finalized at the June 27 meeting;
• Removed from the agenda the 2010-11 final budget amendments, so more work could be done in advance of the June 27 meeting when it must be adopted;
• Approved the 2011-12 school calendar that was negotiated and approved by the union. It has an additional school day, going from this year’s 168 to 169, with a plan to go to 170 by the 2012-13 school year. Board President Martha Toth conceded that most school in the state have significantly more school days than Van Buren and, “We have had the lowest in the state.” Toth has commented in the past that she would like to see the students in school more days “on task”;
• Approved a two-year contract with Shonta Langford-Green as Director of Human Resources, effective July 1. Green is a 1991 graduate of Belleville High School with a master’s degree in HR and experience in negotiating for the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Cost to the districtis estimated at $157,314. After Dr. Olson left to become superintendent of the Richmond Public Schools on July 1, 2010, the district worked with a part-time employee and used the attorney to fill in, but that has become very costly;
• Approved the use of school buses, at the going rate, for Huron Valley Ambulance 911 Camp and the Boys and Girls Club field trips;
• Approved the Wayne RESA Center Program Agreement;
• Approved membership in the Michigan Association of School Boards and the Michigan High School Athletic Association;
• Approved a resolution on Schools of Choice, noting Tyler, Edgemont, and Rawsonville elementary schools are full and can take no more students from out of district;
• Approved a resolution adopting the Government Accounting Standards Board Statement 54, as required by law; and
• Went into executive session at 9:10 p.m. to consider two written attorney opinions on unannounced subjects.