August 21, 2014

School Board approves 2014-15 budget

By Jerry W. Kram

The Parshall School Board passed a preliminary budget for the school district at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The board voted to adopt the budget that included a property tax increase to cover projected decreases in federal eduction funding. Superintendent John Weidner said that 85 percent of the budget is salaries, which is consistent with most school districts. The budget for the elementary school is about $880,000, the middle school will cost $275,000 and the high school budget is $520,000.

On the income side, Weidner said he has budgeted $951,000 from local property taxes. That is a 12 percent increase, but it only represents a $7.56 increase in taxes on a $100,000 home. Impact aid, which replaces property tax on federally controlled land including tribally owned land will amount to $600,000. Weidner said this represents a decrease in funding because of the congressionally imposed sequestration. He noted that Congress has restored some of that money in past years, but there is no guarantee it will do the same in the future. The budget also projects about $215,000 in Title I and Title II funds, which go towards improving the performance of low income students. In all, the budget reflects a $50,000 decrease in federal funding for the district.

Weidner said this year’s budget will have some deficit spending due to a state requirement that school districts must reduce their allowable reserves from 40 percent to 35 percent over the next two years. The Parshall School District currently has a reserve of $1.4 million.

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