School board expected to amend budget, name new elementary school

Friday, November 7, 2008 | 3:01 p.m. CST; updated 5:00 p.m. CST, Friday, November 7, 2008

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools will decide whether to amend its budget to reflect the uncertain economic climate at Monday's school board meeting, Chief Operations Officer Nick Boren said. The largest proposed adjustment in this year's budget is in income generated by interest from investments, Boren said. According to the amended budget, the district expects to see a decrease of $1.78 million in investment income in its funds.

"The decrease in interest income is directly tied to the state of the economy," Boren said. He also said the school district projected a deficit of $2.6 million in its original budget, which was adopted in June. The deficit is now projected to be $3.2 million.

"The budget is a living document that changes from day to day," Boren said. "We've adjusted it to be relevant at this point in time."

In October, the board decided to shift their investments from U.S. treasuries and securities to certificates of deposit issued by local banks.

There was also a significant decrease of around $740,000 in federal Special Education funding. Assistant Superintendent Lynn Barnett said the federal government is supposed to pay 40 percent of the school district's Special Education budget, but Columbia Public Schools has never seen above 17 percent.

Other items on the agenda include naming the new elementary school, an update on the search for a new superintendent and the appointment of members to the Transportation Committee.

The school board meeting will be preceded by a dinner at Hickman High School at 5:15 p.m. Principal Mike Jeffers, students and staff will be present at the dinner to provide information about the school.

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