As the Brown Deer School District wraps up its 2012-13 fiscal year, it is anticipating fewer budgetary challenges in the school year ahead.
In updates to the Finance and Facilities Committee on Tuesday, Finance Director Emily Koczela provided a review of the close of the 2012-13 budget, as well as made a recommendation on the 2013-14 budget for the district's annual meeting, which was accepted by the committee for referral to the School Board.
During recent recession years, the district's priority has been to run the budget as tightly as possible to avoid utilizing reserves, Koczela said. By transferring about $70,000 in referendum expenses out of the general fund, the district was able to finish the 2012-13 school year with a positive balance of just under $4,000, Koczela said.
"At the end of '13-14, I'm looking for a better result," Koczela said. "I'm looking for actually putting something toward the fund balance."
Koczela added that the 2012-13 school year "may be as tough as it will ever get." Because things have eased up financially at the state level, the district's budgetary outlook for the 2013-14 school year appears to have improved as well, she said.
The approximately $19.4 million budget proposed for this coming school year reflects essentially no tax levy increase, Koczela said, except for a 0.38 percent increase as part of the referendum funding approved by voters in November 2011.
Areas being prioritized in the proposed budget include staffing, particularly as it relates to intervention positions, as well as staff development and technology, Koczela said.
For instance, the district traded some staff positions that were not as crucial for intervention positions requested by principals, she noted. District staff also are working with principals to determine staff development priorities for the coming school year, for which about $200,000 is budgeted, including about $100,000 in substitute teacher costs. One area that will be targeted, Koczela told the committee, is alignment with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Common Core State Standards.
This year's budget also will include about $100,000 in technology upgrades, such as wireless infrastructure for both school buildings, five computers in every K-8 classroom, sophisticated computers for the district's digital art class, about six mobile computer labs and iPads for every teacher.
The School Board likely will approve the preliminary 2013-14 budget in late August for presentation to the community at the district's annual meeting in early October.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Brown Deer School District Annual Meeting
WHEN: 6 p.m. Oct. 8
WHERE: Location TBD
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