The Caesar Rodney School Board unanimously approved its Fiscal Year 2014 budget at Monday night’s regular board meeting, which had been rescheduled due to snow.
The total revenues for the district’s operating budget totaled $86,551,820 with total expenditures at $77,223,832, according to Dr. Ada Carter, director of business and finance for the district.
The John S. Charlton School, which operates under a separate budget, had a total of $15,838,587 in revenues and $15,345,714 in expenditures.
The district’s federal funds, tuition funds, minor capital and major capital budget had a total of $23,731,492 in revenues and $20,442,079 in expenditures.
One aspect that has changed since the preliminary budget was approved in August was an increase of $436,504 in local payroll expenses, which cover the local portion of the district’s teacher salaries. However, that cost was slightly off-set by a reduction in local fund expenses due to a few minor changes to the building budgets of several schools; these changes saved the district $3,683, Carter explained. Another decrease in local expenditures came by paying charter payments for intense and complex special education students from tuition tax funds.
The total changes from the preliminary budget totaled $339,146, which led the district to a deficit of $277,554 in local funds.
That deficit is being covered by the district’s reserves, Carter told school board members. The reserves currently stand at $878,277. After covering the deficit, the reserves will stand at $600,723.
Carter also noted that she anticipates having to use rainy-day funds to cover current-year expenses for the FY 15 budget. The rainy-day fund, which is a separate reserve account, currently totals $4,725,894.
IN OTHER NEWS
The school board also heard a presentation from members of the Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Health and Social Services and University of Delaware’s Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies, regarding a drug and alcohol survey and a youth tobacco survey administered by the University of Delaware in schools each year.
The board moved to table a decision on whether or not to allow the drug and tobacco studies to continue to be administered until after the board had made a final decision on a new survey policy.
The board heard a second reading of a survey policy that would require that the school board approve all surveys before they are administered to students.
A regulation with in the policy would require that parents, guardians and emancipated students be informed when outside agencies request to conduct surveys, written consent would have to be received for a student to participate in a survey. They also have the right to decline their or their child’s participation in the survey.