Lindbergh school board eyes approval of revised ’12-’13 budget

School board eyes measure to refund bonds issued in ’04

By Mike Anthony

Approval of a revised budget for the 2012-2013 school year that projects an operating surplus of $58,040 was scheduled to be considered earlier this week by the Lindbergh Board of Education.

The Board of Education was set to meet Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.

The original operating budget approved by the school board in June projected a surplus of $29,313. The proposed revised budget projects that surplus would increase by $28,727.

The original 2012-2013 operating budget projected expenditures of $60,969,554 with anticipated revenue of $60,998,867. The proposed revised operating budget anticipates expenditures of $61,304,618 with projected revenue of $61,362,658.

Changes in the proposed revised budget result from overall increased revenues of less than $364,000 that were offset by an increase in overall expenditures of less than $335,000.

To achieve the surplus in the original operating budget, the Board of Education voted to eliminate summer school for elementary and middle-school students and approve a one-year reduction of the district’s textbook budget.

While summer school will be offered for high school students, eliminating the elementary and middle-school summer school program will save $180,000. Reducing the textbook budget for one year will save an additional $320,000.

The original 2012-2013 operating budget approved in June included expenditure decreases totaling $868,000 and expenditure increases totaling $1,145,725. The increase in expenditures included $714,000 for employee salaries and benefits.

The board last year approved a two-year salary schedule for teachers that provides an annual average increase of 2.8 percent.

The schedule provided teachers with a 3.87-percent salary increase for the 2011-2012 school year and a 1.78-percent pay raise for the current school year.

The increase in salary and benefits included the 1.78-percent pay raise, a 5-percent increase in insurance premiums and mandated retirement contributions.

Since the 2007-2008 school year, Lindbergh sustained a cumulative loss of revenue totaling $18 million.

A 65-cent tax-rate increase approved by voters in November 2010 generated roughly $8.4 million for the 2011-2012 school year. Revenue from Prop L allowed the board to approve a balanced budget last year for the first time since 2002.

Had Prop L not been approved, 80 teaching positions would have had to be eliminated.

The board’s decision in June 2010 to place the tax-rate increase before voters came after making $4.7 million in cuts for the 2010-2011 school year. Sixty positions were eliminated, including 45 teaching positions.

In a separate matter Tuesday, the Board of Education was scheduled to consider a resolution authorizing the sale of $3,685,000 in general obligation bonds to refund bonds issued in 2004.

As proposed, the sale of the bonds, scheduled Jan. 8, is projected to save taxpayers $175,000, according to Chief Financial Officer Charles Triplett.

Taxpayers would directly benefit from the refunding because they will pay $175,000 less in taxes to the school district in the future. The district itself reaps no benefit from the refunding.

If the refunding nets the estimated savings of $175,000, the district will have saved taxpayers more than $5.1 million since 1998 by taking advantage of lower interest rates and refinancing bonds.

By refinancing bonds in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012, the district saved taxpayers a total of $5,117,157.

With the latest refunding, that savings is projected to increase to $5,292,157.