$164 million school budget up for vote

Adding Tom Rose as a new board member is also on tap.
Sunday, June 10, 2007 | 2:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:09 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

A proposed budget increase for the 2007-08 school year is poised to gain approval at the Columbia Board of Education’s regular meeting Monday.

The board will also discuss remaining 2006-07 budget issues, present several certificates of special recognition and swear in a new member during the meeting.

If you go

What: Columbia Board of Education When: 7 p.m. Monday Where: Columbia Public Schools administration building, 1818 W. Worley St.

Tuesday, the board held open budget hearings to discuss the 2007-08 budget proposal and allow the public to bring forward any concerns. Several board members asked for clarification on issues within this year’s budget, but no public concerns were raised.

As a result, Phyllis Chase, superintendent of schools, said no changes were made to the 2007-08 budget proposal. She said she doesn’t anticipate any problems with it gaining approval at Monday’s meeting.

“Board members have had many opportunities to discuss and weigh in on the matter,” Chase said. “We’ve been working on this for a very long time.”

The new budget, around $164 million, would increase the district’s operating funds by over 8.5 percent compared to last year.

Last year’s budget issues will also be discussed during the meeting. Chase will present a financial update for the 2006-07 school year, and Linda Quinley, director of business services for Columbia Public Schools and treasurer to the board, will introduce 2006-07 budget amendments for approval. This year’s budget amendments consist of state and local grants awarded to the district as well as any donations received during the school year.

“We have this amendment every year at this time of year because we never know how much money we will get (from grants and donations),” Quinley said.

Quinley said it is up to the head of a department, such as the mathematics, science or adult education, to apply for local and state grants, and each grant is specified for a particular purpose. This year, the specific grants and donations totaled $250,000 for salaries, $40,000 for benefits and a little over $416,000 for services and supplies for the district.

Quinley said grant services might include an expert brought in to speak to a class on a particular topic and grant supplies would cover items purchased for additional classroom projects, such as science experiments.

Several Teacher of the Year award winners and a track and field champion will attend Monday’s meeting to receive special recognition from the board. Eight district staff members received awards from assorted state organizations, such as the Science Teachers of Missouri and the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Rock Bridge High School student Lauren Borduin will be recognized at the meeting for her MSHSAA Track and Field Championship wins in both the 800- and 1,600-meter runs.

Near the end of Monday’s meeting, Tom Rose will be sworn in by Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendent and board secretary, as the newest member of the board. Rose will take over the remainder of Don Ludwig’s term, which ends April 2008.

The Columbia Board of Education meetings are held monthly and are open to the public.

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