By Sue Moore
After honoring the district’s 15 retirees, the Vicksburg School Board settled in to hear the annual budget review from Assistant Superintendent Steve Goss for the fiscal 2018-19 school year.
His assumptions for the $27.4 million overall budget showed a student enrollment of 2,542, seven down from the current year. The Pathways program show a decreased enrollment projection of 14 students, down from the 80 this year. All of the numbers presented were predicated on state per-pupil funding of $7,861. That’s up 3 percent, he told the board, a $230-per-pupil increase.
Salary and benefit costs were estimated at $21.1 million and $4.76 million for non-compensation expenses. Thus, he predicted a $56,000 shortfall from a balanced budget.
This did not worry Goss, saying the overall picture was essentially a balanced budget, given some unknowns that are still to be factored in.. Goss noted that one of the state budget proposals under consideration called for an increase of $240 per pupil compared to the $230 increased used in the preliminary budget. If the $240 increase is factored into the final budget, it would generate approximately $26,000 of additional revenue, which would not significantly change the budget.
Goss explained the allocation of functional expenditures, and in reference to the $9.24 million allocated for support services, Goss reminded the Board and audience that, “school districts are complex systems, and every function is interdependent with the others. Each plays a vital role in the success of students.”Trustee David Schriemer was hoping the Federal government might come through with funding for school safety efforts that are needed in many schools across the country. “There is no cavalry coming over the hill,” Superintendent Charlie Glaes exclaimed. “We had two grants in 2004-05 for cameras and initial funding for a school resource officer but that’s the extent of it.”
Goss went on to explain that in 2020, the bonds to build the auditorium and new gym will be paid off. “It is our hope to incorporate more funding for security systems in a future request to the public along with other upgrades.”“Our most recent bond issue of 2014 that we divided into three segments was sold successfully for the remaining one on May 31. The work is already rolling ahead on the $4.3 million from this issue and should be completed in the 2018-19 school year,” Goss remarked.