Kearney reviews projected expenditures for next year
St. Marys Area School District Superintendent Ann Kearney reviewed the district's anticipated expenditures for the 2011-12 school year during Monday's school board workshop.Kearney noted that after reviewing the governor's proposed budget on Tuesday, she was unhappy with the figures; however, she emphasized St. Marys Area School District is right on target with its proposed budget. For 2011-12, the district projects that its expenditures will total $23.3 million.Among some of the items being completely removed from the 2011-12 budget is the annual back-to-school tabloid published in The Daily Press. This tabloid was at a cost of $6,000 for the district. Kearney said the information will be available on the school district's website in the future. The SMAHS Marching Band will no longer attend away games, but will continue to attend playoff games and competitions. This will save the district $7,160. In the past, SMASD has completely funded trips to the national competitions for the DECA and HOSA clubs, but will not provide funding for them in 2011-12. One trip costs approximately $7,000 per student and there are typically between 2-3 students attending these events each year. Funding has also been cut for sports banquets. Kearney added that many sports programs, such as football and swimming, have individual team banquets in addition to the school's annual fall, winter and spring sports banquets.At the state level, the funds being cut in the governor's proposal include the Community Block Development Grant (CDBG), monies which are used to fund all-day kindergarten in the district; EAP funding, used to pay for middle and high school tutors aiding students who were falling through the cracks; and dual enrollment, which Kearney said the district has worked hard to get students involved with and enhance and improve the offerings over the years.As part of the 2011-12 projected expenditures within the district, 56 percent is being allocated for instruction, 34 percent for support services, seven percent for other financing uses, such as debt service and contracts, and three percent for non-instructional service.Instruction costs are anticipated at slightly over $13 million for 2011-12. This is approximately a $40,000 increase from the 2010-11 instruction allocation. This year, federal stimulus money has been utilized to pay for tutors and the increase in technology costs.Over the past several years, the highest amount allocated for instruction costs was $13.3 million in 2007-08. In 2008-09, the district absorbed numerous positions, mostly due to teachers taking advantage of the district's retirement package. Additional positions were absorbed in 2009-10. In 2010-11 the district hired additional tutors, especially in special education. Anticipated staff salaries for next year are at $11.4 million, an increase of $100,000 from this year. Next year, the district anticipates paying $4.2 million for benefits. Retirement costs are also increasing yearly for districts across the state. For 2011-12, the district anticipates paying $975,000 into the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERs). This year the district paid close to $913,000 to PSERs as compared to the 2009-10 contribution of $592,000.