COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board approved the 2012-13 budget Monday evening in a 6-1 vote. Also, the board unanimously approved a proposal defining which types of employees can vote in a fall collective bargaining election.
The board passed a total operating budget of $167 million, an almost $9 million increase from the 2011-12 budget.
This budget reflects a $1.6 million drop in state and federal funding to the Columbia Public Schools. However, the funding decrease was more than offset by the $7.8 million brought in by the 40-cent tax levy passed in April.
The total increase in costs came to $8,455,614.
Budget highlights include the following allotments:
- $3,027,951 for salaries and benefits
- $3,529,256 for services and supplies
- $1,020,897 for Battle High School's operating budget
- $417,450 for reorganization of secondary schools. Starting in fall 2013, when Battle opens, high schools will have grades nine through 12, and intermediate schools will have grades six through eight.
Board President Tom Rose voted against accepting the budget. Rose said that he didn't think this budget would serve the schools in the long run.
"I'm not as optimistic as the others. Looking down the line I'm more concerned where the balance will be in 2015 or so," Rose said.
The board later unanimously passed a proposal deciding which school employees would be eligible to vote this fall to change their collective bargaining.
- The proposal included employees who are required by law to hold a teaching certificate and excluded employees who may hold a teaching certificate but are not required to by law.
- Employees who are in one group now may change groups by the time of the election. The board will finalize a list of those allowed to vote closer to the election.
On the fall ballot there are two options.
The employees can vote to either retain their current "meet and confer" system or give exclusive rights to the Columbia Missouri National Education Association to represent employees when dealing with concerns of salary, benefits and other employment affairs.
Other items discussed:
- The board unanimously approved a new set of standards, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, for the English/language arts and math curricula.
- David Wilson and Lou Ann Tanner-Jones of the Special Services board gave a presentation on increasing the efficiency of the program.
- Kim Nuetzmann and Leslie Trogdon gave an overview of how new teachers are transitioned into the district.
The board's next work session is at 7:30 a.m. June 21 at the District Administration Building, 1818 W. Worley St.
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.