Columbia School Board amends 2014 budget

At the June meeting of the Columbia School Board, the meeting began with a public hearing to present an amended 2014 budget.

Superintendent Gina Segobiano said that whenever an area of a budget is exceeded by 10 percent or more, a budget amendment is required.

The school district has not had to amend its budget many years.

“Our numbers have always been to the T,” Segobiano said.

This year, however, there are a few areas the board needed to review. The first area is the working cash budget.

Last September, in the original budget, the board approved transferring money to the building fund in order to purchase technology infrastructure.

“But since we did not need to do that, we are keeping the working cash where it is,” she said. “We received a $50,000 grant from the state for infrastructure and were not prepared to replace everything at once like I originally thought we would.”

The other area the board had to amend was a special education line item for the residential placement.

“Midway through the year, the state decided not to reimburse districts at the 90 to 100 percent level and change it to 50 percent midstream, so therefore our budget is $60,000 revenue less because of that area,” she said.

They also amended the transportation fund. The district received a third payment and also purchased a new bus, so both expenditures and revenues were different than the board expected them to be.

“The bottom line is that we’re all balanced,” she said. “I’m very pleased with the outcome of this budget.”

The district was expecting to deficit spend $162,715 in the education fund, but only had to spend $114,000.

Segobiano said the district could also get the last general state aid payment before the fiscal year is out, which would put the deficit budget at only $4,000.

In the regular board meeting, the board discussed the possibility of bringing back random drug testing for athletes and possibly other students as well.

It will be looked at further at July’s meeting.

The board accepted resignations for several district faculty and staff, including Dave Touchette (CHS assistant football coach), Ernie Kopp (CHS cross county and track coach) and Carla Edwards (CMS assistant softball coach).

Vacancies have been declared for the CHS assistant football coach position, CHS cross country coach position, CHS track coach position, CMS seventh grade boys basketball coach position, CMS assistant softball coach position and a custodial position.

Segobiano told the board where the Columbia School District is at with withdrawing from the Perandoe Special Education District.

The next step is a July 9 meeting, at which Segobiano will present the petition to the management council and governing board of Perandoe.

In executive session, a CHS student was expelled for a two-year period for drug possession and distribution.

The school board’s next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. July 17 at Parkview Elementary.

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