Alton School Board of Education approved the proposed budget for the 2003-2004 school year June 30.
According to the budget plan that was developed by the Board of Education, administrative staff, faculty and other staff members, the total predicted revenue of $5,067,543 is $390,499 less than last year. The budgeted expenditure of $5,082,210 is $664,755 less than last year. The projected deficiency of $14,677 is due primarily to the rising cost of health insurance, according to Superintendent Sheila Wheeler.
Where does the money come from? Local and county revenues account for approximately 34 percent of the overall budget. The sources of these funds are: local taxes, county revenue received from fines and forfeitures, railroad utilities, payment in lieu of taxes from the National Forest Service and Proposition C (state sales tax).
The state revenue portion of the budget, about 52 percent, comes from the following: the education foundation formula (basic state aid to schools), free and reduced at-risk aid, transportation aid, exceptional student aid, textbook aid, Fair Share (cigarette) tax, gifted program, Parents as Teachers program and remedial reading program.
Federal funds, approximately 14 percent, are primarily from: IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act), food service reimbursement and Titles I, II-A, II-D, IVV and VI.
Where does the money go?
According to the proposed budget, salaries account for the majority expense.
This includes teachers, substitute teachers, teacher aides, administration, secretaries, bus drivers, cooks, building maintenance and plant operation personnel.
Plant operation expenses such as heating, air conditioning, electric, fuel, water, etc. account for the next highest expense. Student transportation is the third largest expense. According to Wheeler, Alton School is the third largest geographical district in the state, covering 493 square miles. School buses travel 1,200 miles a day.
Textbooks and student supplies are followed by basic building maintenance and upkeep.
Although there is less money from the state this year, according to Wheeler,"We have not had to cut education programs. With staff help and cutting back on maintenance projects and non-certified staff we hope we'll be at a break-even point."