Snake River trustees approve 2011-2012 budget

THOMAS — Snake River School District trustees unanimously approved the 2011-2012 budget on Wednesday.
Chris Nelson, the district's business manager, noted that revenue for the district is down $730,000.
To make up some of this difference, the district has transferred $356,000 of previously dedicated funds. These one-time designated funds come from the state tobacco fund and from savings.
School districts used to receive specific amounts from the Idaho State Lottery, Nelson said. Now the lottery money goes to the state's general fund and is distributed to the school districts from there.
For the 2011-2012 school year, Nelson estimates Snake River will have 89 enrollment units.
"The district does not qualify for the unit enrollment protection," Nelson said.
The state enrollment protection has been lowered from 99 percent to 97 percent, she said. That means that if a school's enrollment goes below 97 percent, the school will receive 97 percent of its previous year's budget from the state.
Salary apportionment from the state has been reduced $78,500 for the upcoming school year, Nelson said. That's a reduction of 1.67 percent.
The district's contribution to teachers increases by $100,000.
The workers' compensation insurance premiums will increase 73 percent.
The trustees approved increasing pay for substitute teachers to $75 per day.
Building budgets have a 10 percent holdback (savings). That amount totals $15,000 for all buildings.
Textbook funding will increase by $50,000 for social studies curriculum and elementary consumables (workbooks).
Salaries for special education aides have been increased by $56,000. According to federal standards, the local contribution to special education must remain at least at the level of the previous year.
Federal funds revenue is down, Nelson said.
Changes in personnel include:
° The vo-ed director has a six-month contract rather than a 12-month contract.
° The Limited English Proficiency program continues.
° The resource officer will remain in the school (About two-thirds of the resource officer's salary is paid by the sheriff's office.)
° Certified staff (teachers) is down by 3.5 positions. This was taken care of through retirement.

* Technology. $60,000 from the district's general fund plus $68,922 from the state goes to technology in classroom enhancement and teacher development.
(The $68,922 supplied by the state almost equals the $78,500 decrease to teachers' salaries.)
The price of school lunch will need to increase by 12 cents or 13 cents each year, Nelson said. There will need to be a hearing in August to approve this amount.
The federal government said within five years, lunch prices must reach $2.46 for elementary students, Nelson said. Presently, elementary students pay $1.85.
Superintendent Russell Hammond recommended that if anyone runs into a legislator, "please tell them educational funding is not meeting the needs."