CCISD mulls 2013-14 budget

CALUMET – The Copper Country Intermediate School District Board is preparing for the 2013-14 school year. During their monthly meeting Tuesday night, the board received a preliminary budget for next school year.

According to a copy of the budget, it is broken into two main components – the General Fund and the Special Education Fund. The budget is contingent on the renewal of contracts for the 2013-14 school year, actual costs associated with health insurance – the preliminary budget estimates 5 percent – and the retirement rate, which differs between individuals but is estimated at an average of 24.5 percent in the preliminary budget.

The state budget – which has not yet been finalized – will also affect the CCISD budget. Cuts are anticipated in the state budget and the preliminary CCISD has reduced funds for Section 81, the general fund allocation for state aid, over the past years from as much as $545,000 to an allotted $422,580 for the 2013-2014 school year. The state budget is expected to be finalized by June 1, giving the CCISD time to revisit their budget and vote on it during their regular meeting in June.

“Section 81 dollars have been significantly reduced over time,” said Dennis Harbour, CCISD Superintendent. “We’re hearing rumors that Section 56, which would be affiliated with special education, could be in jeopardy. So this (budget) is our best look right now but that could even change significantly by June 20.”

The preliminary budget anticipates expenditures – including areas such as wages, employee benefits, purchased services, supplies and capital outlay – to be $3,936,885 for the General Fund and $5,928,891 for the Special Education. Revenues are forecast as $3,886,885 for the General Fund and $5,828,891 for the Special Education Fund. Special Education expenditures are expected to increase during the 2013-14 school year, up from $5,925,156 during the 2012-13 school year, yielding more revenue during the following school year.

In other business, the CCISD Board:

accepted the resignation of board member Albert A. Koskela, commending him for his work with the CCISD over the years.

planned a special meeting for May 14 to review applications and appoint a new board member to fill Koskela’s position. Because state law requires the position be filled within 30 days, the board will appoint a member to serve for the remainder of Koskela’s term but if that individual desires to serve during the next school year he or she will have to go through the normal election process next month.

discussed updates on the Tech Readiness Integration Act 221 (TRIG 22i). The state forecasts purchasing around 72,000 mobile devices for 220 school districts in Michigan. The retail value for those devices would be $35 million but the state hopes for a price cut when buying in bulk. Because prices have not yet been finalized no districts have committed to the purchase of mobile or desktop devices. Mobile bids should be ready to vote on by May and desktop devices by June.

reappointed Parent Advisory Committee Member Cindy Figures to a three term on the CCISD Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education.