Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Delano School District budget approved for upcoming year
June 29, 2009

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, MN – School may be out for the summer, but Delano School Board Chairman Peter Brasket joked the school board is in session last Monday night.

Following a review and discussion, the school board approved its budget for fiscal year 2009-10. Board Member Sarah Gallagher was absent.

Superintendent Dr. John Sweet said the school board has approved $921,000 in budget adjustments, including $388,000 in reductions. Since those adjustments were approved, a part-time middle school vocal music position was not brought back, with revisions made to the middle school schedule to accommodate the program, adding $13,138 to the reductions, for a total of $401,138.

Sweet said Governor Tim Pawlenty announced $1.77 billion in deferred payments, or shifts, to k-12 education June 16. He said this means 27 percent, or $3,895,000, of the FY10 revenue received will be deferred until 2011.

The effects of this shift, Sweet said, are that the district will need to use its fund balance to cash flow the $3.8 million shortfall until it is paid in 2011. He also noted the $60,000 budgeted for interest earnings now won’t be met.

“The district is fortunate to have fund balance for cash flow purposes, and shouldn’t need to get into cash flow borrowing, with the interest costs associated with that,” Sweet said, noting some districts have had to borrow.

He also said the federal stimulus initiative will bring $243,620 into the FY10 budget, and said these dollars can be used to offset certain special education costs and reduce crossover funding from the general fund to special education.

Sweet explained that this means the district can use $243,620 less of the $533,000 that was designated from the fund balance, which will save some of the fund balance for FY11, reducing the amount for reductions that will need to take place in FY11.

Sweet said, now that the FY10 budget is figured out, he is unsure of what’s going to happen over the next few years. He said the next legislative session is going to be “critical.”

Brasket brought up health care costs, and it was noted health insurance costs are expected to increase 23 percent. Sweet said the actual increase will be known June 30, and said it could be slightly less, but admitted it will still be a large increase.

“It’s huge,” Sweet said.

Other budget assumptions the district made include that enrollment is projected to increase by 20 students, or possibly even a few more than that; that general education revenue will remain constant at $5,124 per pupil unit; that referendum revenue is $431.11 per pupil unit (expires in FY12); and that inflationary increases are around 2 to 3 percent.

Estimated expenses in the district’s general fund are $18,881,552. The general fund received revenues from state aid (86 percent), local property taxes (9 percent), federal sources (1 percent), and other local and county sources (4 percent).

Estimated revenues to the district’s general fund are $18,597,200, which is $284,352 less than the district’s expenses, meaning the district will have a deficit budget. With this in mind, Sweet said the board will begin looking at next year a lot sooner than it normally would.

Lunch/milk prices increase slightly

A 5-cent increase for student breakfast, lunch, and milk was approved by the school board.

Director of Business Affairs Sarah Miller said this year, meal price surveys from school districts were not as readily available as in the past. A survey conducted on 35 schools throughout the state indicated that 60 to 65 percent of the schools polled were at or above the prices Delano Schools approved for 2009-10.

In 2008, the cost of a lunch at the elementary school was $2, and with the increase, will now cost $2.05. In the middle/high schools, the 2008 cost was $2.15, and with the increase, will now cost $2.20.

Milk is also increasing from 45 cents to 50 cents. It was noted there is an 18 percent increase in milk cost this year, and it was noted that being a part of the Anoka Food Consortium has helped manage food costs.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• entered into a lease agreement with the City of Delano for the use of a van for Community Education over the summer to bus students from Community Education to the high school/middle school for swimming.

• passed a resolution updating the school district’s population and recognizing it as 12,838. This is an annual resolution necessary to determine funding for Community Education.

• declared 52 Dreamwriter T100 word processors as surplus property. These have not been used by the district since 2001, and Middle School Principal Renee Klinkner said there is no longer a use for them.

• heard a presentation from Klinkner on early MCA data reflections and trends to validate strengths and needs in the future.

• recognized and approved a contract amendment with Sweet, noting a voluntary pay freeze for FY10.

• approved handbooks for grades 7-12 activities, coaches, head coach evaluation process, head coach evaluations, the Delano Middle School students, and Delano Elementary School student-parents.

• approved curriculum updates for world language, visual arts, and music.

• heard from High School Principal Matt Schoen that a curriculum change has been made for online learning from PLATO to E2020 to help students with reading and math.

• approved the retirement of Delano Elementary School speech clinician Sue Jude; the resignations of elementary school paraprofessionals Peggy Bobick and Marcie Heikkla; and the hiring of Terry Techam as head boys’ basketball coach, Amy Gould as head girls’ basketball coach, and Mandy Henderson as head cook for the elementary school.

The board also approved an unpaid family leave of absence for Oda Sturey beginning approximately the end of August through Sept. 28.

An assignment change was approved for Toni Clifton, who is changing from special education teacher in the elementary school to third grade teacher, replacing Naomi Sorenson who retired; and Theressa Swan, who is changing from a sixth grade teacher in the middle school to a second grade teacher at the elementary school.

The board also amended Youth Development Coordinator Carley Boll’s contract from 150 days to 177 days.

• approved the health and safety management assistance service agreement for 2009-10 with Resource Training and Solutions.

• amended its purchase agreement for the Althoff property, extending the possession date to June 30. The board also declared buildings on the property as surplus, and will try to auction them off to be moved.

• entered into closed session to discuss employee contract negotiations.


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