Concordia R-2 makes amendments to budget

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Concordia Board of Education members approved amending this year's budget after Superintendent Mary Beth Scherer presented them with her revisions this past Thursday.

Some of the changes included allocating funds for two aides, and technology and infrastructure upgrades, which were approved in November. Another revision focused more on a current concern.

Board members touched base on a past discussion -- installing cameras in each of the six buses that serve the district. Some questioned what the district's responsibilities are after students leave school grounds, and others were curious about the extent of behavioral problems.

"We're beginning to have issues," Scherer said. "The kids know ... that there's one camera that kind of runs between the buses. So the idea that having the right camera on the right bus is kind of the luck of the draw."

It's estimated the district could spend $13,775 to have three cameras installed on each bus. A second bid for two cameras each came in at $11,995. Although Concordia works with a contracted bus service, the district is still responsible for disciplinary action, according to administrators.

According to Scherer, administrators feel they're not tuned in to some of the misbehavior, and board members seemed to agree that a camera system would also support drivers during their routes.

No final decisions have yet been made, and Scherer plans to provide more information in January.

Even with the possible expense, the district shouldn't be looking at a deficit by the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

"We're still projecting a black budget," Scherer said. "We will not deficit spend this year."

She also expects a change in the district's assessed valuation and, after discussing it with a local assessor, believes property taxes will rise.

"We will not get the actual updates on paper until after the first of the year," she said.

Total expenditures are expected to reach $6,673,168.

In other news, board members approved a consent agenda, which included a community education evaluation as well as a vocational education evaluation. Additionally, they approved a five-year buildings and maintenance plan.

All board members were present. The next regular meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.

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