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School board OKs capital budget

The District 196 school board approved its 2009-10 capital expenditure budget on Monday. The budget includes a total of $12.2 million in expenditures and reserves.

The budget approved Monday includes approximately $3.34 million for classroom leases, $1.5 million in total school building allocation, $1.19 million for curriculum materials and $1.14 million for a district office facility lease payment.

Also included in the expenditures is $2.31 million in a general account expenditure shift to the operating capital account.

The amount of operating capital revenue available to the district is less than the previous year due to a one-time revenue category of school technology and operating capital aid equal to $55 per student for the current school year.

As a result, there is a slight increase in funding per student. The projection is $197.01 per student in 2009-10, an increase from $196.09 for the current year.

Also included in Monday's capital expenditure budget is a $996,770 subtotal for health and safety projects.

The district will spend $400,000 for administrative and instructional technology, which includes video projectors with enhanced audio and interactive whiteboards, anti-virus software and online databases. The district has allocated $192,450 for major maintenance and special projects.

Also included in the expenses is $180,000 for band instruments, districtwide.

There is a contingency of $250,000 reserved for unplanned expenses.

The district has estimated a $2.58 million fund balance, as of June 30, 2009. The estimate for June 30, 2010 is a fund balance of $778,627.

The ending fund balance for 2010 is expected to decrease $505,927 due to the transfer of approximately $2.3 million of expenditures from the general account.

The capital expenditure budget, which was first presented to the board in February, is among the first parts of the district's budget to be approved each year. A complete preliminary budget for the 2009-10 school year will be brought to the board for approval in June.

However, the capital expenditure budget is completed earlier because many of the capital purchases are made during the summer and most be finished or installed before school begins in the fall.

Interviews set

The second round of interviews for the new school superintendent will take place next week. Second interviews will be May 4 and 5, and the board is expected to select a finalist and offer the position after the second round of interviews.

Current Stillwater Area schools superintendent Keith Ryskoski will interview with the board on May 4. Jane Berenz, the District 196 director of teaching and learning will interview on May 5.

Interviews are set for 6:30 p.m. each day at the new district office.

The two finalist will each spend their respective day meeting with district staff and the community, and will conclude the day interviewing with the school board.

Current superintendent John Currie is retiring, effective at the end of the school year, and the board hopes to have a replacement in place before Currie's departure.