Saline School Board approves budget amendment at Dec. 12 meeting

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 12/14/2017 - 23:59
Assistant Superintendent of Finance Janice Warner
A file photo of Assistant Superintendent of Finance Janice Warner.

The Saline Area Schools Board of Education voted 7-0 in favor of a budget amendment at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Assistant Superintendent of Finance Janice Warner said typically the board amends its budget in January or February, but some key numbers on both the revenue and expenditure sides the board had been waiting to finalize were ready.

On the revenue side, the student count was up 16 over autumn 2016, bringing in more money through the foundation allowance from the State of Michigan. The state also contributed “stabilization funding” for school employee retirement accounts, and the exact amount of special education funding the district is to receive was confirmed.

On the expenditure side, one assistant principal, two special education teachers, 15 paraeducators and one tutor were added to the payroll. Warner said that seemed like a lot of new hires, but many of them are replacing contract workers, so payroll goes up, but contracted costs will go down.

Overall, the budget amendment saw a net increase of about $1.78 million while expenditures rose about 1.7 million.

The school district’s fund balance, which helps it meet payroll without having to take out loans, is currently about 6.19 percent. Warner said that number has been “steadily growing” and that school finances look stable for several years to come.

In other news from the Dec. 12 meeting, the board of education:

  • Approved 2018 meeting dates, noting that there is only one board meeting in March of 2018 as the fourth Tuesday of the month happens during spring break.
  • Unanimously accepted Supt. Scot Graden’s evaluation rating as “effective”. The trustees use a tool designed by the Michigan Association of School Boards to assess the job the superintendent is doing. Graden’s contract runs through 2022.
  • Unanimously voted in favor of approving the purchase of an HP DL380 server for $32,975, noting that the school’s “future focus” and commitment to appropriate technology use requires upgrades to internet infrastructure in the district.
  • Voted unanimously to approve the Round I CARES Discretionary Fund recommendations to provide $15,000 in grants to the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic for an equipment truck, $20,000 for the marching band to purchase sousaphones, and $13,750 for Community Education for a JV ball field. These CARES projects are funded through a millage passed in 2009.
  • Announced that the next meeting of the board of education will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Liberty School Media Center.
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Sarah Rigg
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. She has worked in community journalism for over 20 years covering education, business, arts & culture and other topics as a reporter, with experience in copy editing, layout, and proofreading.