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Saline School Officials Down to the Wire on Budget

Saline Area Schools officials worked through the weekend on the 2012-13 spending plan.

The 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.

The district continues to negotiate contracts with the , and administrators, Graden said. He declined further comment.

According to the 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 . 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 until July. 

Freedom 2012 June 26, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Fast Forward: The Saline School Board is struggling to balance its 2023-2024 budget. With student enrollment down 35% from its 2009 highs, revenues from the State have failed to keep pace with the combination of inflation and rising pension and health costs for retired teachers. Even though current teacher salaries are down 15% from 2015 and staff size has been cut by 45%, following the illegal "Great Strike of 2015" that wiped out 1/3rd of the school year, structural expenditures continue to climb. Board member Tex Payeur said "Our current teachers are working hard, doing the best they can with an average class size of 42; they are making less, in real dollars, than they made in 1985; support services were fully privatized in 2017 and are now costing us 20% less per employee than we paid in 2009 but we still cannot balance the budget. When we have to pay 53% of every dollar we pay in salary to fund pension and health benefits for teachers that retire at 55 and live for another 30 years, it does not leave much for the current teachers and staff. In essence we have two staffs: one staff that is working, teaching the kids and making an average of $50,000 but only half the size of our other staff. That staff is retired, not teaching a single child, but receiving an average of $55,000/year and heath care that costs $24,000/yr. We're going to be paying for the excesses of the past for years to come."

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