TWIN FALLS — It’s one of the biggest decisions a school board makes all year: setting a budget.
Twin Falls school trustees voted 4-0 Monday night to approve a $59.6 million general fund budget for 2017-18. Trustee Liyah Babayan was absent for the agenda item.
The budget for the Twin Falls School District, which has hundreds of employees and about 9,300 students, outlines likely revenue, as well as expenses in key areas such as teacher salaries and benefits, supplies and materials, and purchased services.
“Significant events” impacting the budget include “probable reductions in all federal programs and completion of the major construction phase for the district,” according to a letter from fiscal affairs director Bob Seaman to school trustees.
“We’re tight in the general fund,” Seaman said Monday night.
Board chairman Bernie Jansen said the Twin Falls School District isn’t alone in talking about funding for federal programs.
“A lot of people are going to be talking about budget cuts in the next several months,” he said.
There weren’t any public comments during Monday night’s two budget hearings, one about the current year’s amended budget and one about next fiscal year’s budget.
School trustees heard a presentation in May about the preliminary budget for next year and no major changes were made since then. The new fiscal year starts July 1.
The board also approved an amended budget Monday night for the current fiscal year.
Director of operations Brady Dickinson, who will take over July 1 as the new superintendent, thanked Seaman for his work.
“I know it’s a tremendous amount of work putting both of these budgets together,” he said.
During their Monday night meeting, trustees also:
Recognized Babayan for her service on the school board. She lost the May election as a write-in candidate and will be replaced by newcomer Todd Hubbard. She thanked fellow board members for their support and friendship.
Recognized employees of the month: first-grade teacher Pam Day and kitchen staff member Dawn Hentrup from Sawtooth Elementary School.
Recognized students who’ve received awards: Canyon Ridge High School girls winning the golf state championship, Twin Falls High School winning the state baseball championship and being named 2017 spring 4A state academic champions, Twin Falls High School softball being named 2017 spring 4A state academic champions and Twin Falls High being named the 2016-17 Idaho High School Activities Association’s 4A first place “school of excellence” and Canyon Ridge High ranked fifth.
Approved student handbooks for Vera. C. O’Leary and South Hills middle schools.
Heard a facilities update report. Substantial completion of South Hills Middle School is slated for next week, Dickinson said. Furniture is set to arrive Tuesday. The grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 10. A remodeling project at Magic Valley High School is underway to add classroom space and expand the school cafeteria. Work is slated for completion by mid-to-late September, Dickinson said, but classrooms will likely be done by the time school starts in August.
Awarded a $108,983 bid to Clima-Tech Corp. for an HVAC control project at Vera C. O’Leary Middle School and I.B. Perrine Elementary School.
Approved contracts with private service providers: city of Twin Falls from May 23 through May 23, 2022, with the city providing an invoice for services when applicable, for using each other’s facilities; $10,000 to Arie Bostick Success Training for an Oct. 17 paraeducator training; and $3,050 to The Math Learning Center for an Aug. 10-11 teacher training on new Bridges in Mathematics materials.
Approved a resolution for a request to adjust average daily attendance due to “unusual inclement weather and flu season this year.”
Approved policy and procedure revisions.