Mehlville Board of Education eyes approval of 2012-2013 budget

By Kari Williams

A proposed 2012-2013 budget that projects an operating fund balance of 20.11 percent is scheduled to be considered today — June 21 — by the Mehlville Board of Education.

The Board of Education is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. at Andre’s Banquet Center, 4254 Telegraph Road.

The proposed 2012-2013 budget projects total expenditures of $101,362,000 with anticipated revenue of $101,851,000 — a surplus of $489,000.

For fiscal 2012, which will end June 30, the district projects total expenditures of $100,592,000 with expected revenue of $102,755,000 — a surplus of $2,163,000.

Based on an overall projected cash balance of $28,034,732 on June 30, the proposed 2012-2013 budget anticipates a balance of $28,523,732 on June 30, 2013.

Under state law, a school district is required to maintain a 3-percent balance in its operating funds or be considered a “distressed” district.

The proposed 2012-2013 budget projects an operating fund balance of $19,730,567 — 21.21 percent — on June 30, 2013. That balance includes food service, activities and athletics.

Excluding those, a fund balance of $17,525,919 — 20.11 percent — is projected on June 30, 2013. Mehlville’s operating fund balance is projected to be 23.19 percent on June 30, 2012.

That balance includes food service, activities and athletics. Excluding those, an operating fund balance of $19,088,919 — 21.89 percent — is projected on June 30, 2012.

The Board of Education has established a 13-percent to 18-percent target for the district’s operating fund balance.

In May, Chief Financial Officer Noel Knobloch projected the district would end the current school year with an 18.5-percent operating fund balance.

Information provided the board states the increase is due, in part, to a more than $200,000 increase that resulted from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education finalizing its pro-ration for 2012 at 94.3 percent, as opposed to the projected 93 percent.

“This results in an additional $250,000 to the district over the May estimates, but is still $700,000 less than the formula would have provided on a fully funded basis,” Knobloch stated in the information provided to the board.

Additionally, final fiscal 2012 results will be better than originally projected in May, according to Knobloch. The district will realize savings in salary and benefits due to “several positions provided for in the budget” not being filled.

Staffing is expected to stay at its current levels, and the addition of a technology employee for the district’s One-to-One Open Source Pilot Program “will be offset by a reduction in another area,” according to information provided to the board.

Besides providing funding for the one-to-one program and the construction of new tennis courts at Bernard Middle School, the proposed 2012-2013 budget includes “steps and channel changes,” for district teachers, Knobloch stated.

In the certified salary schedule, channels denote a teacher’s level of education. Each channel also includes steps that represent each year a teacher has worked.

“The net increase after reflecting the impact of retirements was approximately 2.5 percent,” Knobloch stated. “Classified staff was also moved up one step, which also represented an increase of approximately 2.5 percent.”

Regarding benefits, Knobloch noted that contribution rates for employee retirement programs “remained at the 2012 levels. The increase in these line items as well as other payroll costs is due to higher salary levels.

“It is expected that the cost of the district’s medical premiums will increase 8 percent to 10 percent in 2013. The increase will be split between the district and employees,” according to Knobloch.

In other expenditures, Knobloch states the funds for the construction of a district auditorium “were generated through the savings from three (certificates of participation) refundings, which took place in 2011 and 2012.”

The district’s Facilities Authority Committee issued the COPs, and “the proceeds have been deposited with a trustee and will be drawn down as construction commences,” Knobloch wrote.

“The construction activity is not directly reflected in the district’s operating budget as the district’s obligation will be to repay the authority over the next nine years via interest and principal payments on the COPs,” Knobloch wrote.

The following items also are set be considered by the board when it meets today:

• Paperless board meetings.

• Mehlville Messenger bids.

• Food vendors for the coming school year.

• A+ Schools program report.