Budget approved: Shelley to save money with refinanced bonds

SHELLEY – It’s always nice to lead off a budget meeting with announcement of a savings.
Michael Keith of Seattle Northwest announced the successful refinancing of Shelley’s 2002 bonds Thursday morning.
By refinancing these bonds, taxpayers in the Shelley School District will be assessed $573,000 fewer taxes over the life of these bonds.
The district received five bids in this competitive bond sale. D. A. Davidson and Company gave the district the lowest interest. The trustees had a motion and approval to sell the bonds to D. A. Davidson and Company.
The board voted to increase Superintendent Bryan Jolley’s salary by $3,000 for earning his doctorate and a 3 percent salary increase for the next year.
“The past couple years, Superintendent Jolley had volunteered not to get the [salary] increases that he and the board had agreed upon,” Board Chair Jamie Higham said. “We’re just trying to get back to that agreement.”
Business Manager Trish Dixon said there would be $200,000 less in the budget this coming school year (SY2012).
Discretionary funds from the state have decreased 10 percent. Salaries have decreased 1.67 percent.
Because of some retirements in the district, the district was able to give staff a slight increase in salaries, returning salaries to the 2009-2010 budget level.
Class size will raise slightly in elementary schools, Dixon said.
There has been a decrease in funds for materials, supplies, purchased services and capital outlay.
“We still do not know what amount of money we are getting from the state for each student,” Dixon said.
“The school district has lost $2.5 million from the state over the past four years,” Superintendent Bryan Jolley said. “The portion of personnel costs in the budget used to be 86 to 87 percent of the budget. Now with the decrease in discretionary spending, the portion of personnel costs has increased to 90 percent of the budget. This is because there is less discretionary spending in the budget.”
The budget was unanimously approved by the trustees.
Trustees approved the following fee increases:
· Riverside registration fees increased from $6 to $11 per student.
· Stuart registration fees increased from $6 to $10 per student.
· Driver’s education increased from $120 to $150 per student.
· Meal costs increased because the federal government wants the cost of all school lunch programs moving in the direction of the national average. In Shelley, the cost of breakfast and lunch at all levels increased by 10 cents. The exception is adult lunches will cost $3.10. This is up from $2.80 paid during 2010-11.
Overnight trips for the high school were approved.
The Learning English Proficiency (LEP) Plan was explained. Mike Corbett who works as a counselor at Stuart Elementary will also take on the role of English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.
Corbett is certified and qualified to take on this role. He will work as a counselor 60 percent of his time and 40 percent with ESL students and their parents.
A map of trustee zones was presented to the trustees. The optimum number of people in each zone was 1,883. After some tweaking, populations in each trustee zones are within 2.7 percent of each other.
Superintendent Jolley spoke of Pay for Performance. The objectives are to make achievable goals, reward what staff is already doing and encourage them to stretch a little bit.
“It is based on student achievement and that’s what we’re all about, isn’t it?” Jolley asked.
Representing the Journey Church, Brian Gazda asked the trustees if the church could lease all or part of Goodsell Elementary “because we are outgrowing our building.”
The church would like to lease the gym, cafeteria, kitchen, four or five classrooms and office space. Only a couple of classrooms and office space would be used throughout the week.

Trustees will consider this proposal.