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2005-06 school budget in Mabton $9.8 million

MABTON - The Mabton School District Board of Directors is expected to adopt a $9.8 million general operating budget for 2005-06 at their Monday, July 25, meeting.

Mabton School District Assistant Superintendent Charlie Plesha, who oversees the budget process for the district, said the board will also be looking at approving the Associated Student Body, debt service, capital projects and transportation funds budgets.

"We are looking pretty good," said Plesha.

The district's budget is driven by student enrollment. Plesha is anticipating 863 students in Mabton this year, up two from the previous year. The largest anticipated enrollment in the district will be in the third grade, with 84 students. Plesha said he doesn't expect the student enrollment counts to differ much from what he has projected.

The district will have 63 certificated employees on staff, up two from the previous year. Plesha said the additional staff members will be at the elementary school. Mabton will also employ 34 classified employees, which is right on track with last year's figures.

Plesha said Mabton is seeing the end to some of its major grants this school year. The district has only one grant from the Bill Gates Foundation left in the amount of $4,010. However, the district is in the process of applying for several other grants, including one for $200,000 from the Paul Allen Foundation. Plesha said the district should know if it has received the Paul Allen grant by the beginning of the school year.

This year's general operating budget is $700,000 more than last year, said Plesha. This is the result of some grants the district obtained and the educational pay raises the legislature approved this past session.

Most of the other district funds are right on target from where they were last year.

The ASB fund has an identical budget of $78,000 that it did last year. The debt service fund is budgeted for expenditures of $153,835 and the capital projects fund has a budget of $430,000. The capital projects fund is actually down $20,000 from the previous year. Plesha said there will be some discussion by the school board on what projects to address in the capital projects fund. He said the district earlier this year purchased 40 acres next to the elementary school for possible future construction.

"It was a really good buy," said Plesha.

Transportation has a budget of $111,000 this year.

The food service department has an operating budget of $331,135. Plesha said the food service department runs a tight operation, serving a majority of the students in the district.

One new change in this year's budget comes in the athletic department. Mabton Athletic Director Denny Brown now has his own separate budget. Brown's athletic budget accounts for much of the $78,000 ASB fund, totaling $38,000. Plesha said the athletic fund used to be included as part of the building budget, but now Brown operates it separately, seeing a $3,000 increase from the previous year.

The district will be collecting $195,000 from a four-year levy this year. The district is in the second year of the $700,000 levy.

The salary for Supt. Sandra Pasiero-Davis for the 2005-06 school year is $98,705. Plesha's base salary is $94,801.

Patrons of the Mabton School District may comment on the budget at Monday's meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the director's board room.

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