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Dover Post
  • Caesar Rodney school board approves final 2013 budget

  • The Caesar Rodney School District Board of Education approved a final 2013 fiscal year budget of $85.5 million that increases spending slightly thanks to a small increase in enrollment and increases on the local side of salaries.
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  • The Caesar Rodney School District Board of Education approved a final 2013 fiscal year budget of $85.5 million that increases spending slightly thanks to a small increase in enrollment and increases on the local side of salaries.
    "Our enrollment went up slightly and it did result in slightly more state funding, which did slightly draw down the carryover [reserve]," Caesar Rodney Director of Business and Finance Dr. Ada Carter said. "But the largest expense that will draw on our carryover is an increase in local salary expense," Carter said.
    This was due to increase in the so-called "other employment costs," rate,
    negotiated local salary increases and normal increases due to teachers' increasing levels of experience and advanced college degrees, Carter said. "Other employment costs" are salary-related costs that include the employer's share of pension, social security, Medicare, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance on the state portion of salary.
    That meant Caesar Rodney would have to deplete its carryover reserves further by the end of the fiscal year, Carter said. The carryover was essentially the money left over after expenditures were subtracted from revenues. The state closely monitors school district carryovers to ensure they have the financial viability to meet payroll in the summer and early fall, before tax receipts begin to roll in around October.
    As of June 30, 2013, Carter anticipates that Caesar Rodney will have a $4,691,179 budget reserve as well as an additional contingency of $954,000, she said. Compared to last year, the Caesar Rodney School District had a $4,861,963 budget reserve as well as a $1,439,148 contingency at the close of the 2012 fiscal year.
    However, the good news was that the state helped Caesar Rodney significantly as one of the relatively poorer, rural districts in the state with so-called Division III money, Carter said. Local revenue raised through the current expense property tax was not sufficient for the district's annual local salaries of about $14 million, Carter said. Therefore, $9.5 million in state division III money was used primarily for the local portion of salaries. That allowed Caesar Rodney to not further deplete its current expense (operating) funds.
    Delaware's school districts usually approved their final budgets in December, well after Sept. 30 enrollment figures were certified and the accompanying state funding was approved. State funding was determined for the most part by student enrollment.
    Caesar Rodney School District property owners saw their school tax increase overall by 2.05 percent for the 2013 fiscal year due to increases in capital construction and special education costs. But the current, operating expense remained the same.
    CAESAR RODNEY SCHOOL TAX RATE
    2012
    Current expense $0.5400
    Debt service $0.1975
    Minor Cap $0.0430
    Technology $0.0241
    Extra Time $0.0130
    Reading Resource $0.0380
    Page 2 of 2 - Math Resource $0.0085
    Tuition $0.3559
    Total $1.2200
    2013
    Current expense $0.5400
    Debt service $0.2100
    Minor Cap $0.0430
    Technology $0.0241
    Extra Time $0.0130
    Reading Resource $0.0380
    Math Resource $0.0085
    Tuition $0.3684
    Total $1.2450, an increase of 2.5 cents, or 2 percent.
    Source: Caesar Rodney Director of Business and Finance Dr. Ada Carter

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