School board reviews budget

Under a proposed budget, hours for security officers would be cut.
Friday, June 11, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:11 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

A proposal to cut funding for two Columbia Public Schools security officers drew the most discussion Thursday night when the Board of Education reviewed a proposed $174.2 million budget.

Under the spending plan, the district’s two full-time juvenile officers would each work a half day instead of a full day. Jacque Cowherd, deputy superintendent for administration, told the board the change would save about $55,000.

School board member David Ballenger said funding for the juvenile officers, both of whom are trained police officers, was his main budget issue.

Ballenger said he is concerned about the work load of two juvenile officers.

“They can’t do the same thing in four hours a day that they do now in eight hours a day,” he said.

Cowherd said the district will report back to the board on the security issue, but he did not guarantee that it could be done by the next board meeting on Monday, when the budget is up for consideration.

A Rock Bridge High School parent was the only person who spoke at a public hearing on the budget. She said there were disparities between the instrumental music funding at Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools.

The 2004-2005 proposal is up from this year’s $165.26 million budget. The district also plans to use 14 percent of its reserves under the spending plan.

The proposed budget calls for increasing the base pay for teachers by $1,800 to $27,600. The same 9 percent increase would apply to all teachers. The district would spend about $7.5 million to finance the pay raises, which are possible because money from the state was more than originally estimated.

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