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  • Juab School District held budget hearing to discuss finances

By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

In Juab School District, personnel costs account for 87.9 percent of the general fund.
Darin Clark, Juab School District Business Administrator, explained the district budget in a power point presentation at the budget hearing held on Wednesday.
Two budgets were discussed, one the final amended budget for the 2012-2013 year and the proposed budget for the 2013-2014 year.
Both budgets were adopted by the board of education during regular session following the hearing.
"The proposed budget for 2014," said Clark, "is $13,310,000 and the 2013 final budget is $13,322,000," he said.
Property taxes and other local revenue should bring in $3,100,000; the state adds $9,235,000; and federal funds add $975,000.
"The district has approximately 575 employees, most are paid from the general fund," said Clark. "The 575 employees include 160.28 full-time equivalents (FTEs) who are 'contract' employees,"
"Of the 160 FTEs, 110 are teachers, 40 are classified employees and ten are school or district administrators," he said.
He began by discussing the general fund revenue.
A general fund revenue pie chart prepared by Clark, indicates that, by source, 23 percent comes from taxes, interest and fees; 7 percent comes from federal funds; and 70 percent comes from state funds.
Two of the points of the budget are that property taxes are flat and that there is increased recognition of the board local levy which is now in the general fund instead of in Capital outlay.
"There is an increase in state revenue due to 2 percent increase in WPU (weighted pupil unit) and slight growth and there is a decrease in federal funds due to sequestration," said Clark.
The WPU is the primary mechanism in state funding to equalize and distribute a combination of state and local dollars per student.
The 2013-2014 budget includes: a 1 percent cost of living increase for all employees, the funding of step and lane increases, the mandatory increase of 1.7 percent in the retirement rate; the restoration of two instructional days; the increase of 5.8 percent in health insurance premiums; and the maintaining of status quo on textbooks, supplies, and equipment.
Essentially, the package for employees represents the negotiated settlement for the coming year.
Insurance costs continue to increase and are catching district employees so that, as has been the case for some time, more is paid for less coverage.
"It is part of the national health care crisis," said Tracy Olsen, board member.
The cost of living increase is for all employees, he said.
Olsen said that, when it comes to steps and lane changes, many long-term employees are at the top of the salary schedule and so are not benefited so the cost of living increase is helpful for them.
"In the end, that is a pretty good settlement for our employees in comparison," said Olsen.
"We all agree that we would like to be able to give more," Clark said. "But this is pushing the edge as far as what we can do."
As the state's single largest tax expenditure, it's critical that Utah citizens have a basic knowledge of how K-12 education funding works in Utah.
Clark had prepared another pie chart to help explain the 2014 general fund expenditures by function.
"Instruction takes the largest part of the budget at 71 percent," he said.
Maintenance is 9 percent, school administration is 6 percent, instructional support is 3 percent, transportation is 4 percent, general administration is 3 percent, student support services is 3 percent and business is 1 percent.
A final pie chart was used to show general fund expenditures by object.
Personnel costs represented 87.9 percent of the pie, textbooks and supplies were 5.9 percent, purchased services were 5.2 percent (one of the expenditures included here is the fee for the annual independent audit), equipment at 0.8 percent, and other at 0.2 percent.
Clark also discussed the capital outlay category of the 2013-2014 budget.
"Included are $269,680 of major projects, $97,900 in summer maintenance, and $83,000 in maintenance equipment as recommended by the capital outlay committee," said Clark.
The budget also includes $600,000 for instructional equipments, textbooks and supplies.
Several other expenditures are listed in capital outlay including a bus purchase, vehicles, debt service and a contingency budget for unforeseen events.
The Non K-12 fund pays for extracurricular activities (like the summer band program), athletics, supervision and safety.
Funds for preschool, adult education and recreation are paid for from the fund, said Clark.
"It pays for important programs but is somewhat insignificant, at 4,400,00, in terms of actual dollars," he said.
The capital project budget proposed for 2014 is $1,600,000.
The Debt Service Fund has a proposed budget of $1,896,770 for 2014.
"The fund is used to pay bond principal, interest and other bond related costs," said Clark.
The budgeted money pays for the high school construction, Red Cliffs construction and for the remodeling of Nebo View.
School Food Services revenues are $1,090,000, plus $40,000 from appropriated reserves and expenditures are budgeted to be the same amount as is brought in at $1,130,000.
"This category has remained fairly stable over the years," said Clark. "Nanette Barrett does an excellent job and runs a great program."
The program remained financially stable, he said.