R-II Budget Deficit Smaller Than Initially Anticipated

By MARK EVANS

[email protected]

During the Feb. 16 Ste. Genevieve R-II School Board meeting, Dr. Julie Flieg, superintendent of schools, updated the board on the 2021 budget deficit.

Revenue is projected at $34.3 million (including money saved on a bond refunding). Expenses are projected to be about $34.7, leaving a deficit of $388,573 for the 2021 budget.

“That is much better than what we originally started off the year looking at,” Flieg said. ”And I am still very hopeful that we can balance it out and really come in at a more balanced budget.”

She said the district will also be examining the revenue stream in light of expenditures brought about by the pandemic.

Flieg noted that 60.6 percent of the district’s revenue this year is local, with 15.7 percent from money saved on bond refunding, about 11 percent from the state and about 8.4 percent from federal sources.

Of expenditures, 44 percent goes to salaries and 12 percent to benefits. Debt payments, higher than most years, takes up 11 percent.

Total revenues are projected at $13,466,063 and total expenditures of about  $10.5 million.

Flieg said that, while that gives a $3.3 million surplus “in theory,” about $3.2 million of that will be used to cover deficits.

Bova noted that the $388,573 is still “a very good improvement” from the $919,114 deficit in the amended budget approved on Sept. 15,

Flieg noted that they have to  make their best guess initially and then adjust as more information becomes available. She said that finance coordinator Kris Ritter “does an amazing job” on the budget.

She also thanked Bailey Otto, the district’s communications director, and Nancy Toombs, director of technology, for finding additional available funding, as well as the career technical educational teachers, who apply for numerous matching grants, allowing the district to keep up, while saving money.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the amended budget.

BOARD APPROVES DISTRICT CSIP PLAN

Dr. Paul Taylor, assistant superintendent, reviewed the district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP).

The CSIP Committee consisted of student, parent, community, an R-ll employee, and board representation. The committee members reviewed the plan and engaged in extensive collaboration to offer feedback and suggestions for modification which were incorporated into the updated plan.

Taylor said that this year, two major items were integrated into a variety of areas, including ELA and math professional development. Originally when the district first partnered with the Northwest Evaluation Association, grades 3-8 were tested, and the grade level span has now expanded to K-8.

Also, phonics instructions were added where applicable for K-2. A new program, Really Great Reading, has been implemented and addresses an area that teachers felt needed more support and resources.

Taylor also mentioned that an action step was added regarding the district’s partnership with Community Counseling, a group that provides

counseling services to meet a wide variety of student needs. This service benefits the students in a variety of ways, but also makes logistics for parents easier because they do not have to arrange their child’s transportation, and students miss less class time.

The board also approved the new CSIP unanimously.