LUSD approves 2004 budget

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By Nancy Gutierrez
Lindsay Unified School District board members adopted the 2004-2005 budget at a June 28 meeting. Business Manager Les Henson provided the board with a thorough account of anticipated revenues and expenditures.
Proposed budget assumptions for the coming fiscal year included a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2.42 percent in revenue per average daily attendance (ADA). This would generate $402,000. However, revenue limit from ADA will incur a loss of $369,141 to the district. The net gain between the COLA and the ADA deficit is $30,000. The district intends to issue Certificates of Participation of $2 million to finance the construction of a new multipurpose building at Washington Elementary School. This is if the district is awarded state funds of approximately $1.1 million. The annual repayment over 15 years is estimated at $194,000 and is included in the budget. Also included in the budget assumptions was the new state regulation that requires districts to have a routine restricted maintenance budget of 3 percent from the entire general fund. Prior to this year the minimum requirement was 2 percent of unrestricted funds. Director of Maintenance and Operations Del Corley along with maintenance staff developed a routine restricted maintenance plan to be certified by the board.
Board policy requires that a 5 percent reserve be maintained in the general fund that can be used in case of emergencies only. Henson reported that the unrestricted general fund balance is sufficient to fund the required 5 percent which amounts to $1,560,000. This leaves an unappropriated fund balance of $905,000
Henson projected the ending total general fund balance as of June 30 for the district would be $2,815,925.87. This includes both restricted and unrestricted funds. He said that the unrestricted fund balance of $2,487,000 is declining however it is due to large projects being funded at the elementary and junior high schools.
In other business:
  • The board approved requests by Steve Garvey Junior High, Jefferson Elementary and Lincoln Elementary Schools for Targeted Assistance Status by the state. The previous status of each school were designated as school-wide under Title I. The schools staff and administration feel that becoming a Targeted Assistance school will provide a stronger instructional program that supports all student learners.
  • The board made the final approval of high school graduation requirements by revising board policy to include updated language regarding the high school exit exam. The added language states, "Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year each student completing grade 12 shall have successfully passed the state exit examination in language arts and mathematics as a condition of high school graduation."
  • The board approved a Joint Powers Authority Agreement between Lindsay Unified School District, City of Lindsay and Healthy Kids/ Healthy Lindsay. A committee consisting of members of the Joint Powers Authority met and recommended a change be made to article 13, "Withdrawal and termination of membership," in regards to the governing bodies of the member agencies time parameter for withdrawal from the agreement. The time required for written notification of a contract withdrawal was reduced from two years to six months.