BELLE — Maries R-2 Board of Education members on June 29 voted to amend the 2020-21 fiscal budget to actual numbers to start fresh for the 2021-22 school year, and start saving funds for capital …
BELLE — Maries R-2 Board of Education members on June 29 voted to amend the 2020-21 fiscal budget to actual numbers to start fresh for the 2021-22 school year, and start saving funds for capital improvement projects in the future.
“We may have a few things that still come in and we will have to amend back to this 2020-21 budget,” said Superintendent Dr. Lenice Basham as she explained the changes presented. “I also need you to make a motion that we approve transfers.”
Fund 2 (teacher’s salaries) has to have an end-year balance of zero. Necessary funds are taken out of Fund 1 (unrestricted funds) to balance Fund 2. Fund 4 (capital projects) also has to have a positive balance and will borrow from Fund 1.
Board Vice President Kenda Sanders asked for a motion to approve the transfers. Director Garret Bialczyk made the motion and Director Amy Kiso seconded to balance the budget, which passed with a 6-0 vote. Bialzcyk also made a motion to transfer the funds at the end of the school year, seconded by Kiso, for a 6-0 approval vote. The end-year expenditures were $7,946,269 and total revenue was $8,252,191.
Discussion about the 2021-22 budget followed.
“The biggest thing I am asking you to change in this budget is I want to take 12 cents from — we normally put everything into the general operating fund but one, and I would like to see us pull 12 cents out of that (tax levy) to start funding our facility needs,” Basham explained. “We can only move so much money in there and I think some of the things we are wanting to do we are going to need to move money in there to fund facility upgrades.”
Basham also told the board the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds had been built into the budget.
“Part of the ESSER 2 funds I put in for paying for janitorial services and janitorial supplies next year, because those are allowable expenses, and that lets us use that money at something else — that’s where our facility money and upgrades will start to come in,” Basham said. “There is money in there for tutoring to help with learning loss and learning acceleration.”
Another $300,000 was distributed to Fund 4 to begin working on the HVAC systems at the elementary school and other facility upgrades.
“It looks like at the end we will still be over the 20 percent reserve, which is what our target was,” Basham said. “When you look at what our reserves are, it doesn’t count Fund 4. So we put more money into Fund 4 and without taking our 20 percent reserve.”
The unrestricted fund balance reserve total was $1,579,737.77 at the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“We were very conservative with spending and used CARES Act funds to offset expenses that were related to COVID,” Basham said.
Basham said she felt the financial moves were in accordance with the board’s future goals, including working on the facilities and focusing on student achievement.