Spending for Greenfield district expected to remain flat

June 10, 2014

Greenfield — A nearly flat levy is the preliminary projection for next year's Greenfield School District budget, Amy Kohl, director of business services, told the School Board on Monday.

A .44 percent increase is the best guess right now, she said, but a lot of numbers have to fall into place before that becomes a fact. The current year's levy is $23.1 million with a 2014-15 levy possibly being $23.2 million, she said.

Total spending would actually be down $200,000, or .5 percent. Expenditures for the current 2013-2014 school year are pegged at $37,580,000 while the preliminary 2014-15 budget is $37,380,000.

That potential spending plan includes a 2 percent pay and related benefits increase for teachers, based on a 1.46 percent increase in the consumer price index, she said.

It also contains up to a 9 percent increase in combined dental and health insurance costs, but the district would use some reserves to bring that down to 4 to 5 percent, she said.

She was able to apply surplus funds from this year to reduce the impact of health and dental increases because residents at the district annual meeting last year directed the district not to put any surpluses into reserves this year, Kohl said.

The district also would continue to pay into employees' health savings accounts, under the potential district spending plan. It would again provide $1,500 for employees with single plans and $3,000 for those with family plans, she said.

Board member Len Cich asked if other districts do that.

Kohl said, "It's a very healthy contribution." But there are other districts that put that much into their employees' health savings plans, she said.

All employees will pay 10 percent of health insurance premiums next year, she said.

The spending plan that is firming up also would not increase overall building and departmental budgets. But some things that schools have been paying for will be picked up by the central office budget as principals and administrators review costs, she said.

The capital objects category would be up 3 percent as the schools go forward with technology purchases, she said. Noncapital spending also would be up a similar 3 percent to pay for such things as general supplies, classroom supplies, furniture and microscopes, she said.

Purchased services would be up 13 percent, partly because of accounting changes, she said.

On the revenue side, Kohl said she expects Greenfield to get state aid to high poverty districts for a second year. This was the first year the district has received it. She projects that aid to be $183,059 next year.

Two critical pieces of information remain unknown — the third Friday count due in September and final state aid numbers due in October.

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