School board approves budget for next fiscal year
By Daniel Arens
As the summer winds on, budgets are once again a source of continuing discussion at all levels of city and county government. The Hazen School Board is no exception.
Superintendent Ken Miller spoke through the budget proposal, noting that in total, the projected budget expenditures for the 2016-17 fiscal year will be a $45,359 decrease from last year’s budget.
Miller said there are four primary reasons for the decline from last year’s number. First, several long-standing teachers retired in the last school year, and many of them will be replaced by first-year teachers who will have lower starting salaries.
Second, the district’s health insurance has a higher deductible throughout the entire year, with cost savings of about $14,000 in that line item alone.
Third, Miller said he does not foresee many retirements for the upcoming fiscal year. This means the costs of severance reimbursement packages will decrease within the budget more than 50 percent, from more than $90,000 last year to $45,000 budgeted this year.