Education

Auburn school board finalizes budget proposal as vote draws near

2013-04-10T03:05:00Z 2013-04-10T07:57:19Z Auburn school board finalizes budget proposal as vote draws nearKelsey Durham The Citizen Auburn Citizen
April 10, 2013 3:05 am  • 

AUBURN | With the annual budget vote approaching, the Auburn Enlarged City School District presented its latest set of numbers Tuesday at the first board meeting since learning of the increase in state aid.

Board members were notified a few weeks ago they would receive an additional $1.8 million from the state toward eliminating the budget deficit for the 2013-14 school year. Because of this additional aid, the district has been able to rework the budget proposal for the upcoming year and focus on adding programs and positions that were cut in the past.

Business manager Lisa Green's latest set of numbers, presented at Tuesday's board meeting, calls for the hiring of one additional elementary level music teacher as one of the extras that was recently added. As pointed out by board member Dia Carbajal, Auburn lost three music teachers in two years — two who retired and were not replaced and one that was cut when West Middle School closed in 2011.

"The kids went from having 45 minutes of music a day to 45 minutes a week," Carbajal said.

The district currently has only one elementary level string teacher that travels to all the grade schools, making it harder for each child to get lesson time.

Superintendent Constance Evelyn also pushed for the addition of another high school technology teacher, something she believes strongly about after discovering the need for a better program.

"We could build a better program instead of just extending the one that we already have," Evelyn said. "Another teacher would diminish the number of students being turned away from the opportunity to take technology classes now."

Evelyn also stressed the need for an additional counseling position at the high school, saying Auburn is well above the national average for students per counselor ratio.

Green also set aside an additional $56,000 for athletics in the new proposal, compared to the 0 percent increase that was previously proposed. The extra money would pay for coaching salaries and equipment for modified sports teams.

With the announcement of additional state aid, the board settled on a tax levy increase of 2.5 percent, down from the 2.9 percent that was previously proposed before the revised state budget. This increase would generate just under $700,000 in 2013-14.

The news of more state aid had many board members celebrating, hopeful there are good things to come.

"We're headed in the right direction," Green said.

Voting on the finalized budget is scheduled for May 21.

Staff writer Kelsey Durham can be reached at 282-2237 or kelsey.durham@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenDurham.

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(2) Comments

  1. Ronny
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    Ronny - April 10, 2013 7:51 pm
    School budgets and city budgets should fall to property owners only. A landlord could have a property w/4 rentals and umpteen kids living there w/ tenants who can vote but pay little to nothing in education. Yet they get a say when little old ppl pay and pay and pay. If our schools could say we have 70-100%graduation ppl might feel they're getting their money's worth but that isn't the case and hasn't been for too long.apparently "you get what you pay for" doesn't apply to education.
  2. Ddg610
    Report Abuse
    Ddg610 - April 10, 2013 3:26 pm
    There should be absolutely no tax increase in the proposed school budget with the additional state aid . Give the tax payers a break for once . Also I do not think we need to add positions in the next school year only to lay them off the following year .Why isn't the new superintendent cleaning house at the administration building ? Way over staffed . Also the district needs to control spending . Laying off teacher aides and hire more special ed teachers for the full inclusion may bite this district in the back side and then what will you do ? Finally i do not believe the board made a good choice in this new superintendent looking at her recommendations for next years budget .
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