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Culver School Board adopts $6.16 million budget

Culver Schools Reporter
   July 9, 2003 — Culver School Board members would have liked to approve an even larger budget to help the district’s children, but they were glad to see an 11th-hour addition of $3,400 to revenues for the coming school year.
    The budget submitted to the board by a committee including Zoe Schumacher, who was elected to the board in May and was scheduled to be sworn in July 1, had a little less targeted for the 2003-2004 school year budget than materialized at the board’s June 24 meeting.
    Adopted was a total budget of just over $6.16 million. The budget committee had submitted a tentative structure calling for spending just under $6.075 million. Of the difference of $41,000 part came from increased state funds but most of it was from a program providing federal funds for rural areas.
    The application of an assessment of property in the district with the tax rate approved for schools created adjustments.
    Varied programs within the district, including a number of intermediate and middle school-level field trips and a few activities will be trimmed. Anticipated dropping of the budgeted amount from $290,210 to $234,898 for fourth and fifth graders is being countered by an increased budget in the sixth- to eighth-grade curriculum.
    Different populations of each grade change the spending in each, besides the trimming of some programs.
    High school spending is slated to be nearly identical to last year, with an increase of less than 1 percent, from $687,091 to $693,501.
    Among the items that board members Scott Leeper, Matt Zachary, J.D. Alley, Mike Lofting and Mark Hagman were considering to help the budget was a shortened school day. Other limited adjustments were used to stay within budget.
    Raising funds for some programs was helped last year by ingenuity like that shown by the science department at the high school. There were at least four grants obtained by the work of students under the guidance of teacher Brian Wachs. More alternatives to taxes for finding funds will be necessary in coming years, noted the board.
    Superintendent Marli Perry had been working more hours than originally anticipated when she was hired — at a salary rate — before the start of the 2002-2003 school year. The hours should become more comfortable soon, with the hiring of Brian Wolf as high school principal, she said.
    The board also approved Chris Gardner from the Springfield district as an instructor for special education. She has a solid background, noted Perry.
    “She’ll bring a tremendous resource to the kids who use the special education program,” Perry added of Gardner.
    A unanimous vote accepted not only Gardner’s hiring but the resignation of Pam Michaels at the June meeting.
    There were some funds left in the district’s coffers at year’s end. Almost all of them, however, stood to be evaporated for varied costs, including some legal fees and increased costs for insurance, among other items.
    Earlier in the month, Millie Howe was approved as a hire for the district as an elementary education assistant on the heels of her having retired.