MARSHALL - The Marshall Public School Board approved 10 action items at its regular meeting Monday at the Marshall Middle School, including the 2011-12 year budget despite the lack of concrete numbers.
Business director Bruce Lamprecht walked the board through a 114-page budget draft book for District 413, concluding his presentation by asking the board to approve the preliminary version. The new fiscal year begins July 1.
"It's a worthwhile process," Lamprecht said. "It provides a detailed picture, a roadmap into the new fiscal year and the following years."
The process is still a challenging one since so many things are up in the air due to the state legislative hold-up.
"Everything is up in the air yet," Lamprecht said. "There are so many things out there that we have no control over, but we have to just go with assumptions."
One key point noted was a slight projected increase in enrollment for the upcoming year, amounting to additional funding. Another highlight was that at each MPS site, the numbers show more revenue than expenditures, Lamprecht said, although the balance gets tipped in the other direction after adding in "district-wide expenses."
Marshall East Campus Learning Alternative has also showed a trend in the right direction. Last year, a $17,000 deficit was projected compared to a $100,000 excess projected this upcoming school year.
"It's been a worthwhile investment, especially for the students who might not have been successful in other setting," Lamprecht said.
In order to align with the federal nutritional program, the board also authorized a 5-cent increase in lunch prices, for an ending balance increase of $21,602.
While the cost of utilities can vary, Lamprecht felt strongly that the transportation balance would be in the red next year. After starting with a $19,351 balance, a deficit of $38,083 is expected by 2012.
"We had added a bus route due to overcrowding," he said. "We'll have to continue that. And, there are diesel increases."
The district is expecting $615,000 less in its general fund due to the loss of EduJobs and stimulus funding, with special education possibly seeing the worst impact.
"It's called the funding cliff," Lamprecht said. "Depending on the state, we may have a huge drop in funding."
While the general fund balance looks steady, Lamprecht said that MPS is planning to deficit spend this year. In the capital outlay budget, he noted a parking lot project would cost $50,000, part of the 30 percent portion alloted for operation and maintenance in the district. Other upcoming costs include the tennis court and roofing projects.
"There are a lot of things we should or could be doing, like the track, but the dollars are just not there," Lamprecht said. "But through good planning and board direction, we've been able to weather the storm so far and hopefully, we'll be able to continue doing that."
In other action, the board approved a change in date for the previously-scheduled meeting on July 18, now to be held at 4 p.m. on July 25. Coordinator Amy Eckart also gave a QComp presentation.