From staff reports
In addition to addressing the school district’s mask mandate, several other items were covered during the Sept. 21 Ste. Genevieve R-II Board of Education meeting.
For one, the board adopted an amended 2021-22 budget.
The amended budget reflects updated estimates for expenditures and revenues and revised projections for the remainder of this year.
The budget allows the district to maintain present programs and educational opportunities while continuing to address the unique circumstances associated with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conservative approach taken in previous budgets has created a framework that will continue to assist the district as it handles many uncertainties and potential economic instability during this school year. Examples of these uncertainties include: the addition of elementary teachers to reduce class sizes and address student learning loss; potential restrictions to the state formula and transportation funding; added expenses for additional personal protective equipment and improving disinfection practices.
The Holcim concrete tax issue has also caused uncertainty. The firm is expected to appeal the Ste. Genevieve County Board of Equalization’s decision to support County assessor Linda Wagner’s assessment of the plant.
This leads to uncertain tax revenue and additional expenses to cover litigation fees for the potential local tax protest.
Total revenues are projected to be approximately $30,991,000, and total expenses are projected to be approximately $31,335,000, with a current projection to over-spend approximately $343,000. Flieg shared that while there is more work to be done, she anticipates that the budget will come out in the black by the end of the year.
Board president David Bova pointed out that this current projected deficit is much lower than last school year’s originally anticipated $900,000 deficit, which ended in the black.
This budget does not take into account the COVID-related expenses incurred at the beginning of the year, including face shields and Plexiglas; these expenses will be included in the amended budget in February.
The budget will be reviewed and amended in February 2022 to evaluate and determine how the constant changes in funding at the local, state and federal levels – and the COVID-19 pandemic – impact this fiscal year.
FLIEG GIVES ENROLLMENT
Flieg also released the 2021-2022 enrollment count, beginning with Pre-K enrollment. During the 2020-2021 school year, 58 preschool students were enrolled, which includes students in the Early Childhood Special Education program. This year, the total enrollment increased by 14 preschool students, with 22 students at Bloomsdale Elementary, 23 students at Ste. Genevieve Elementary, and 27 students in the Early Childhood Special Education Program. For K – 12 enrollment this year, every grade except fourth grade increased in enrollment for a total of 1,807 students on the first day of school. This total is an increase of 190 students from the 2020-2021 school year.