BINGHAM — Residents in School Administrative District 13 are being asked to approve a proposed $3.4 million budget that is up less than one percent from the current school budget.

The proposed $3,432,903 budget, which was approved by the district’s board of directors April 12, is up $29,605 from the current budget of $3,462,508, according to Superintendent Virginia Rebar. The budget also includes cost of living raises for all staff and personnel.

“The raises alone are about $60,000 and yet our total budget is up only $29,605, so we think we’ve done a good job of cutting corners and bringing in a minimal budget without a negative impact,” Rebar said.

Residents will be asked to vote on the budget in a public budget meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Quimby Middle School and again in a referendum Tuesday, June 14. The district includes Bingham and Moscow.

Despite the small overall budget increase, the amount of money to be raised locally is up about 7 percent in Bingham, though it is down about 12 percent in Moscow.

Rebar said the shift is largely because of a decline in enrollment in Moscow. Locally raised school taxes are based on population and enrollment numbers and the drop in the number of Moscow students will see a savings for that town while Bingham residents will pay slightly more, she said.

The district is also losing $59,293 in state funding, but officials say they have also seen some savings in the budget. Health insurance costs are expected to remain flat from 2015-2016 and workers compensation costs are expected to go down, said School Board Chairman Brian Malloy.

“We haven’t had to use all that much (workers compensation or health insurance) so it has reduced our rates,” he said.

The district is also starting the school year with a larger than usual carryover because of decreased special education costs in 2015-2016, an increase in tuition revenue from out-of-district students, savings in higher education costs for teachers and other savings.

Malloy said that while some residents have said they are concerned about the amount of carryover money, it is a good thing for the district and will be used to offset expenses in the coming year. The last two fiscal years the district has started with about $350,000 in carryover. This year’s carryover will be $515,000.

“We had a lot of unanticipated income, and there was money we didn’t spend last year because we didn’t need to,” Malloy said. “I think we’re being responsible although I realize for some people it may seem like a problem.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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