SLEEPY EYE - The District 84 Board of Education unanimously approved the 2013 payable 2014 levy with a public hearing followed by a regular board meeting Thursday.
The $6,949,062 budget includes $2,982,498 for regular instruction, $1,047,481 for pupil support, $971,108 for special education, $522,269 for building expenses, $466,667 for capital expenses and $394,304 for administration. New budget revenues are $6,760,306 and expenditures are $6,949,062. The beginning fund balance was $2,433,856, and the estimated ending fund balance is $2,245,100.
The total levy applied to the July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 school year increased $166,681 from the previous year.
District enrollment declined from 606 pupil units in fiscal year 2010 to 587 in 2011, 589 in 2012 and 564 in 2013, according to Fiscal Year 2013 Audit presented by Joel Stencel of Eide Bailly LLP, Mankato.
"You have an unqualified opinion, the highest rating, in accordance with General Accounting Practices," Stencel said. "Your only material weaknesses are internal controls, segregation of duties, financial statement preparation and significant journal entries due to limited office staff."
Expenditures in 2012-13 included $30,000 in legal fees regarding a student expulsion, according to Superintendent John Cselovszki.
Cselovszki said the district offered the teachers union a 6.7 percent salary and benefits hike over two school years. Teachers are asking for a 9.277 percent raise and mediation for the next two school years. Several dozen teachers packed the board meeting, creating a standing room only crowd.
High School Principal Shane Laffen said four students are in on-the-job training programs with local business and industry. Four or five additional students are expected to participate in the programs next semester.
"We're excited to have students working with local companies," Laffen said.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).