Escanaba School Board adopts 2013-2014 budget

ESCANABA – The Escanaba School Board adopted the district’s budget for the fiscal year 2013-14. The action was taken at a budget hearing and meeting held Monday.

The board adopted a general fund resolution for the 2013-14 fiscal year that shows revenues of $21,207,728 and expenditures of $21,363,535. This would leave a projected unreserved fund balance on June 30, 2014, of $77,854.

“If you look at the audited fund balance of July 1, 2012, we had $1,283,208,” noted Sue Furney, the district’s director of business services, during a budget presentation at the meeting. “We are estimating the use of that in 2012-13 of $1,049,547.”

This would leave a projected fund balance on June 30, 2013, of $233,661, though a portion of that would be spent to operate during the upcoming school year.

“We’re expecting at this point in time to need to use $155,807 (of the general fund) for next year, which would leave $77,854, so we know we have additional reductions or increases in revenue that have to occur as we move forward through the school year,” said Furney.

The board unanimously approved the general fund resolution 6-0. Board Secretary Cathy Wilson was absent from the meeting.

Board members also unanimously approved the 2013-14 hot lunch fund resolution, which includes revenues in the amount of $1,170,575 and expenditures totaling $1,234,589. According to Furney, this would leave a projected total fund balance of $23,257 on June 30, 2014, of which $15,000 is the “un-spendable” reserved fund balance – made up of the projected inventory at hand at the end of the year – while the remaining $8,257 makes up the unreserved fund balance.

The board also adopted a resolution to limit the district’s contribution to 80 percent of health and health-related insurance costs for the 2013-14 school year to comply with the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Act, also known as Public Act 152 of 2011.

“Our calculations, given our projected rates starting July 1, 2013, illustrate that complying with the Act by using the 80/20 calculation is in the best financial interest of the district,” said Superintendent Michele Lemire.

In other business, the board:

approved extending non-union personnel contracts for a group of supervisors in the district for one year from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. The group’s contract provisions include no step increases if their contract specifies a step increase for 2013-14, 100 percent employee-paid deductible, and either a 1 percent pay reduction or the equivalent amount to be paid toward health insurance in addition to what is currently being paid. These adjustments are expected to save the district $12,393.

approved extending individual administration contracts for a period of one year. The contract provisions include no step increases for 2013-14 and also require these employees pay more for health insurance. They also will take other contract concessions such as workshops, dues, and other reimbursements. The district anticipates saving $26,480 with these contract adjustments.

approved extending the superintendent’s contract for one year. The contract calls for an employee-paid deductible, elimination of the “in-lieu of” insurance benefit, and other contract concessions such as workshops, dues, and other reimbursements. The district expects to save $4,498 through these contract adjustments.

heard from Arlene Chenier, of Escanaba, during public comment following the budget hearing. Chenier had concerns regarding the superintendent/administrator not taking “a reasonable cut” to help the school districts when some superintendents at schools downstate have taken voluntary pay cuts.