Saline School Officials Down to the Wire on Budget
Saline Area Schools officials worked through the weekend on the 2012-13 spending plan.
The Saline Area Schools Board of Education will consider approval of a proposal for the 2012-13 budget when it meets Tuesday night at Liberty School, just five days before the state deadline.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a public hearing.
Superintendent Scot Graden declined to comment on the contents of the budget. On Friday, Graden said the district was working through the weekend to prepare the budget, which must be set before July 1. Monday, Graden said district officials were working to complete the budget.
According to the most recent public presentation by interim finance director Janice Warner, the district’s deficit for the 2011-12 year is projected at $1.7 million, bringing the district’s fund balance to approximately $1 million.
Warner projected the district will take in approximately $48,350,000 in revenue next year, down from $49,600,000 in 2011-12.
What’s not clear is how much the district will spend. The district is in the process of negotiating the Saline Education Association (teachers), Saline Educational Support Personnel Association (support staff) and Saline Area Schools Administrators Association (administrators).
District officials have refused to comment on negotiations. Support staff workers say the district is threatening to privatize 100 jobs unless workers accept more concessions.
The other unknown cost is pensions. Currently, the district pays 24.46 cents to the state pension plan on every dollar spent on salaries. That rate is scheduled to rise to 27.37 cents. The state house has passed pension reform that would have kept the rate from going up, reduced benefits and required teachers to pay in to the system. The reform would have saved the district $700,000 in the first year. The reforms were scuttled when the senate adjourned until July.