Columbia Public Schools to hold public budget hearing Monday

Friday, June 10, 2011 | 6:22 p.m. CDT; updated 5:11 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 14, 2011

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools will hold a budget hearing 5:30 p.m. Monday before its scheduled board meeting to give the public an opportunity to look at the 2011-2012 budget.

The board made $1.8 million in cuts in the upcoming year's budget.

Columbia Public Schools Finance Committee members have spent months working on the budget, which is expected to be adopted this month.

Board member Jan Mees described the work as “a culmination of a process that began last October as we began to look at revenue and expenditures."

The Finance Committee will share a brief overview of the budget, the budget process and the implications of the budget decisions at the meeting, Linda Quinley, Columbia Public Schools chief financial officer, wrote in an email.

“Time will not allow for a review of the full document, which is roughly 200 pages, so we hit the high points and some of the key summary pages that give a good perspective on the entire budget,” Quinley said.

Superintendent Chris Belcher said the meeting will allow the public to look into any expenditures that differ from last year and reasons behind any differences in total spending.

“This will give the background into and give them a good look at what their money goes to and show us being good stewards of their money,” Mees said.

On Monday, residents will be able to comment on budget-related decisions and make recommendations to the proposed budget.

“The board is very comfortable with it," Belcher said. "They just want the public to have time to speak up if they have anything they are concerned with."

The final budget is expected to be adopted at the board's June 23 work session. By law, the budget must be adopted by June 30.

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