COLUMBIA — Superintendent Chris Belcher will present key items for the 2011-12 Columbia Public Schools budget to the School Board on Monday night.
The board will decide whether the district's proposals will be adopted as priorities for the upcoming budget discussions:
- Add another year to the length of time the district pays increasing amounts to teachers to cover retirement. At that point, contributions remain constant.
- Allow teachers to move up one step on the pay scale, which has been frozen since the 2008-09 school year.
- Raise salaries relative to a teacher's educational advancement.
- Continue to fully fund employee benefit programs for those eligible.
- Continue to fund the district’s 40-percent portion of supplemental pay for teachers in the Career Ladder program. The state withdrew its 60-percent contribution this fiscal year, making the district the sole supporter of the program.
- Use local funding to continue Title I preschool and Reading Recovery programs, formerly covered by federal stimulus money.
- Spend some of the district’s reserves, which have built up during the last four years.
- Maintain reserve balances at, or slightly above 20 percent at year's end.
In his separate superintendent report, Belcher will compare this year’s revenue projections to the current budget and present possible funding cuts for the 2011-12 school year.
He will also provide options for the summer school program that faces possible reduction, or elimination, of state aid under a bill by state Sen. David Pearce, R-District 31.
The board meets at 6:30 p.m. in the district's administration building, 1818 W. Worley Street.