St. Cloud school board approves budget

/ 24 May 2012 / jennifer

Danielle Cintron, St. Cloud Times, May 24, 2012 –

$124.4M plan is $211,797 bump for district

St. Cloud school board members on Thursday approved a $124.4 million budget for 2012-2013, a $211,797 increase.

Despite the increase, the district’s general operating budget is expected to drop by $1.1 million.

The cost is an estimate, said Kevin Januszewski, the district’s business manager, because the cost of a yet-to-be-settled teachers contract is unknown.

The decrease is the result of reductions in special education costs, which includes staff reductions due to retirements and a reallocation of funds, Superintendent Bruce Watkins said.

The budget also reflects the 3 percent levy increase the board approved in October, which provides money for a returned emphasis on building maintenance projects that had been delayed for several years.

About $2.8 million was added for the maintenance projects from the levy increase, with a plan to spend $4 million on the upkeep of the older buildings in the district.

The levy was temporarily lowered as part of a five-year plan to keep the overall property tax collection steady while the district sought support for and built Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph.

The district also reduced the amount it is collecting to pay the debt on Kennedy by $1.8 million. The combined elementary and middle school still has 17 years of payments at that rate.

The Sauk Rapids-Rice school board approved its 2012-2013 budget of $41.6 million on May 21. Due to cuts, the district’s budget was $120,671 less than the one for 2011-2012.

Sartell-St. Stephen’s 2012-2013 budget will be presented at the June 25 school board meeting. Final numbers are still be tabulated, said business manager Steve Wruck.