The Minot Public School Board approved on second and final reading Thursday a $68 million budget for the 2009-2010 school year. The budget is balanced, unlike last year, when ths district had to fund some major building and repair projects. Last year's revenue was $62.4 million, but expenditures were $62.9 million.
Business manager Scott Moum said the budget includes a mill levy reduction of 70.52 mills. The loss of local revenue will be offset by state revenue in the Mill Levy Reduction Grant passed by the 2009 State Legislature.
Board president Nancy Langseth said she has heard of school districts elsewhere that are millions of dollars in debt and it is nice that Minot is able to provide tax relief for its tax payers.
Moum said the budget might be slightly revised in the coming months due to some tweaking or line item changes.
By far, the greatest percentage of the budget is spent on salaries and benefits.
The school board also approved on second reading an increase in substitute teacher pay. Subs will now receive $100 per day instead of $90 and $50 per half day at the elementary level instead of $45 per day and $20 per instructional period instead of $18 at the secondary level.
After 10 days of continuous employment for the same teacher, substitutes are placed on full-pay (not retroactive) according to their degree and actual years of contracted teaching experience, with a maximum of seven years on the salary schedule. It had previously been after 20 days.
Supt. David Looysen said the district has also completed repair work on different buildings over the summer. At Central Campus, the fencework is being completed on the area where the district's former vocational education building once sat. The building was torn down a few years ago and the lot is being turned into "green space" and an area for physical education and marching bands from Central Campus to practice. Cabinets in the family and consumer sciences room are being installed.
Lockers are being replaced and tile and pipes had to be replaced in the girls' locker room at Magic City Campus after a water drain plug cracked. The federal government also required installation of new pool drains.
At Bel Air and Perkett Elementaries, the district also replaced ceiling tiles or did electrical improvements.
The district will do other improvements next summer with federal stimulus money.
Looysen said enrollment numbers are strong in the district and higher than expected kindergarten enrollments might require that some classes be moved around or additional teachers hired at some schools. The district has had to move portable classrooms to some schools because of lack of space, including at Washington Elementary, which the district moved into a year and a half ago.
It's a nice problem to have, said Looysen, but it is also a challenge.
Some of the stimulus money will be used to add classrooms.