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Bickleton School District living within 'itsmeans'

BICKLETON - The Bickleton School Board approved the 2006-07 school budget Thursday night.

Since Bickleton isn't incorporated, the school district doesn't have any levies or bonds to rely on to support its budget. All monies received by the school district come from federal and state funds, plus local support funds.

"Basically we're maintaining," said Judy Naught, administrative assistant to the Bickleton School District. "We live within our means."

Naught discussed the four funds the school has: the general fund, ASB fund, capital projects fund and the transportation vehicle fund.

She explained to the board how she comes up with the figures when working out a new budget. First, she said, she looks at the current legislative funding rates to see how much money the school district will receive from federal and state agencies.

She studies the current budget to see where any shortfalls might be in the budget. She then meets with the superintendent, Ric Palmer, to see if there are any changes he would like to see. After getting input she balances the beginning balance of the budget against expected revenues and expenditures. If necessary, she will go back and adjust expenditures to create a balanced budget.

The general fund currently has $300,000 available. Expected revenues are $1,596,711 and of that, the district is expected to spend $1,596,148. The bulk of this money will come from state funds with $132,700 coming from federal funds.

The district will spend $864,882 on basic education for the new school year. This will take care of teachers' salaries and other school expenses. Principal salaries, business office expenses and custodial expenditures will take another $316,002. The district will also spend $90,696 on special education, up almost $20,000 from the previous year. The reading first program will get $83,631 to operate on.

The ASB fund has a beginning balance of $18,000 and the district plans to spend all of its projected revenues ($23,200) this year. The general student body will receive $6,500, athletics will get $6,500, $10,000 will go to classes and school clubs will receive $200.

The capital fund has $8,000 available and the district is expecting an additional $250. There hasn't been any projected expenditures added to the budget so the district is expecting an $8,250 balance at the end of the year.

Bickleton School District has $100,000 in the transportation vehicle fund but Naught said she budgeted in funds to buy a new school bus if the district decided to do so. With an expected $18,000 of revenues, she budgeted $85,000 for the new bus, which if used, would leave the fund with a balance of $33,000 at the end of the school year.

The school board also gave the district approval to seek out, accept and spend grant money. One such grant from the state, the special and pilot programs grant, funds projects like the movie, "A Living History." This movie was made by Bickleton students and told the history of Bickleton from interviews with some of Bickleton's oldest residents.

The students then made and sold DVDs of the movie. This brings in revenues for the school district. Naught projected $10,000 in local support revenues for the new school year.

After the budget was passed, the board thanked Naught for a job well done.

"Judy does a very nice job of putting our budget together," Palmer said.

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