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Examiner
  • Blue Springs schools expect to see balanced books

  • The Blue Springs School District will have a balanced budget next year, even with the uncertainty of Jackson County assessments and state funding issues.

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  • The Blue Springs School District will have a balanced budget next year, even with the uncertainty of Jackson County assessments and state funding issues.
    The Blue Springs Board of Education approved the preliminary 2013-14 budget last month. The projected revenues are $160.54 million while the projected expenditures are $171.62 million.
    Although the expenditures are more than the estimated revenues, Kim Brightwell, chief financial officer for the district, said this is because of unused funds from the $20 million April 2013 bond issue.
    “The different is due to spend down of bond proceeds from the bond issue,” she said. “There is no deficit at this time.”
    The budget allows teachers to move up or over on the salary schedule depending on how many years they have been in the district and how many credit hours they have received over the number needed for a bachelor’s degree. The base teacher’s pay will also increase by $1,200 to $35,200.
    Other major purchases that are included in the preliminary budget include $782,000 to replace 10 school buses and funds allocated for science, Family and Consumer Science and mathematics K-12 textbooks as well as for the adoption of AP textbooks to meet AP requirements.
    “The biggest challenge is the continuing struggling with the state not fully funding the formula as well as continued uncertainty with Jackson County assessment practices,” Brightwell said. “Fortunately, this year we did not see much of a loss in state and federal revenues. However, we always strive to serve our patrons in the best way possible by being fiscally responsible.”
    Sequestration has also had an impact on the district. Brightwell said Blue Springs is losing between $253,000 and $422,000 for Title I, Title II, special education and Interest Subsidy as a result of the federal spending cuts. She said, however, no new cuts were introduced this year.
    “Our board of education took on the challenge of trimming our budget over four years ago and because of their responsible decision making, we are in a position to maintain our current programs and personnel,” she said. “We continue to monitor our budget reduction tool that was implemented in 2009 evaluating expenditures based on impact on safety, instruction, staff morale, public relations and cost.”
     
     
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