School board gives nod to $578M budget

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

The 2012-13 Salem-Keizer School District budget of $578,990,853 was approved by the board of directors Tuesday.

Budget funds are a $343,423,734 general fund, a $48,060,322 debt service fund, $87,940,665 for capital projects, $16,773,133 for food services, a $4,732,503 asset replacement fund, $37,229,314 for grant programs, $15,518,613 for fee-based programs, a $980,587 special revenue energy conservation program fund, a risk management fund of $13,155,850, a services fund of $5,181,414, $41,887 for internal services energy conservation, a $5,181,414 services fund, $3,735,863 for charter school services, a $480,000 enterprise fund and a $38,300 trust fund.

Approval was by a 6-1 vote. Jeff Faville voted against it, saying that he did not consider it a sustainable budget and that sustainability was one of the criteria of a budget.

The board was required to vote on certain budget matters separately. After overall budget approval came the vote on appropriations by fund. All seven directors voted for it.

Also approved unanimously were a tax rate of $4.521 per $1,000 assessed value and confirmation of the enterprise fund, which was created to track fees and sales. The ending fund balance, reduced from 5 percent of the current budget to 3 percent because of economic conditions, for application to the 2013-14 budget, passed 6-1 with Faville in opposition.

Later in the meeting, Tim Farness of Salem spoke from the floor, urging the board to support Initiative Petition 35, which would shift the state corporate kicker to K-12 education. He said that would add up to $300 million for school support.

The board approved repurposing of Middle Grove Elementary School at the urging of parents who have been concerned with lack of infrastructure and location of the building and have noted that nearby Chavez Elementary School can accommodate the current Middle Grove students. Staff had noted that repurposing would provide long-term savings by consolidating staff and moving district programs from leased space to district-owned space.

*Approved many personnel actions, including changing the status of Ashley DeLaRosa, a counselor at Claggett Creek Middle School, from contract full-time to contract part-time. The board accepted the retirements of Michael Haller, library media teacher at McNary High School; Shirley Flores, physical education teacher at Clear Lake and Gubser elementary schools; Judith Day, second-grade teacher at Kennedy Elementary School; and C. Terry Shrout, general science teacher at Claggett Creek.

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