Looking at the 2014-15 budget

The USD 490 Board of Education took a look at the 2014-2015 budget during their meeting Monday evening.
Assistant Superintendent Mike Ronen reviewed some of the changes.
One change was in special education because the change in the cooperative.
Another change, which affected all school districts, was that the state now allows districts to pay for some of their operations through the capital outlay fund.
About $650,000 was created in this fund the last four years, but it has never been used for general operations before.
"Because of reduction in beginning balance, this year for first time we will be paying all of our maintenance workers, salary and benefits, out of capital outlay," Ronen said.
They also moved a portion of computer leases into capital outlay.
"Of our $650,000 that will be generated, $391,000 of it is already budgeted to be spent for regular operations," Ronen said. "It just means we've reached the point where capital outlay is needed for general obligations."
When looking at the mill levy for the budget, Ronen proposed a 1.368 reduction this year. This included a change in the local option budget – the state lawsuit that said the state will fund 100 percent of LOBs in the state, which was not done last year. In addition, districts get portion of LOB funds based on value per pupil in district. El Dorado's is increasing, but not as fast as other districts, so they dropped in per pupil value, which gives them a bigger portion of the LOB.
With those changes, the LOB is reduced by 2.308 mills.
In bond and interest, the mill had to increase just short of one mill at .939 mills to offset a slower growth in the assessed value than what was predicted, and the capital outlay increased .001 mills.
"It is a refund from the state, through the schools to the taxpayer," Ronen said.
The board approved 6-0 (Tom Storrer was absent) publishing the budget in the newspaper. On Aug. 25 a special board meeting will be held for a budget hearing and approval of the budget so it can be sent to the state.
In other business, the board:
• approved the 2014-15 negotiated agreement, which the teachers had ratified Monday.
• approved policy updates as recommended including such things as use of space heaters, teacher evaluations, teachers' cell phone use, pilot projects, student privacy policy and release of records, public conduct on school grounds, among other things.
• approved substitute and Rule 10 coaching salaries be increased 2 percent.
• approved Deb Wheeler as the Special Education Cooperative Board Member alternate.
• approved a resolution to adopt the South-Central Kansas (Region G) Multi-Hazard, Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
• approved instructing staff to draft a lease agreement with  the El Dorado Community Concert Association for use of the high school.
• approved personnel recommendations.