Board will look at budget figures Monday

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

Administrators in the New Prague Area School District have been busy preparing a budget for the 2008-09 school year. Board members got a preview of the budget at its April 14 meeting, but since then principals and directors have worked at scrubbing the numbers, reducing expenditures and working at building a fund balance into the budget.

Finance Director Dan Pyan said the proposed budget he will present to the school board at its April 28 meeting will have an unreserved fund balance of $94,000. That will be an improvement of more than $60,000 the district expects to have at the end of the current fiscal year. The revised 2007-08 budget presented to the board April 14 showed a fund balance of $30,000.

The budget to be presented on Monday will be $30.5 million, an increase of 5 percent over the 2008 revised budget. Unreserved expenses will increase 5.22 percent under this budget, while unreserved revenues will be up 7.76 percent, due in a large part to the operating levy approved by district voters in November, 2007.

This is the first budget prepared by Pyan, who joined the district about a year ago, near the end of the budgeting process. He said lower-than-expected enrollment resulted in less income for the district over the last two years, requiring adjustments to this year's budget and to the process of developing the 2008-09 budget.

One change is a more conservative estimate in enrollment growth. The district experienced growth of 4.05 to 6.91 percent over the four previous years, and projected an increase of 3.95 percent for this year. Next year's projected increase is 1.27 percent.

We've had 160 fewer students over the past two years. That resulted in a shortfall of $960

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