St. Joseph school board thrilled with projected surplus

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Board members rejoiced over the St. Joseph school district’s projections and proposed 2016-17 budget.

The board approved a $25.8 million budget Monday night following a public hearing on the budget. The district is expected to have a surplus of about $217,000.

Kathy Hamilton, chief financial officer, gave a presentation and answered questions regarding the district’s financial layout during the hearing.

Hamilton said the district’s projection to end next year in the green comes as a result of steady enrollment, an increase per pupil funding and the reduction of expenses outside of the classroom, such as transportation.

“The term we use is ‘righting the ship,’” Hamilton said. “For the last three years, this has been the goal with the projection.”

At the end of the 2015-16 academic year, the district finished with a $22,000 deficit.

Superintendent Ann Cardon said that deficit was welcomed after the year they had in 2013-14, when the district showed a $512,000 deficit.

“Our enrollment is growing, our budget has been stable the last two years and now moving in the right direction of adding something to our fund balance. That’s all credit to Kathy’s hard work.”

In addition to the budget, trustees approved the 2016 millage rates and a budget amendment for the 2015-16 school year.

Replenishing computers

The board approved the purchase of 230 MacBook Air computers for incoming sixth-grade students, as part of the One-to-One initiative at Upton Middle School, and another 120 IMAC computers for elementary media centers, for a combined total of about $339,000.

Money for the computers will come from the 2016 Capital Projects funds.

The next meeting will be at 8 a.m. July 6 in the North Lincoln Administration at 3275 Lincoln Ave. in St. Joseph.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on June 21, 2016)

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