School board eyes smaller budget
The Westerville Board of Education will consider spending $5.3 million less from its general fund in the 2013-2014 fiscal year than it did in the previous year.
The board heard the first reading of budget legislation at its meeting Monday, Aug. 26.
The $142.9 million general fund budget would be a 3.6 percent reduction from the $148.2 million budgeted for 2012-2013.
The board did pass a temporary budget in June that was 75 percent the size of the actual budget. The temporary budget was passed to allow the district time to determine how it would be affected by the state budget and how much it would receive in federal funds, said district Treasurer Bart Griffith.
The current fiscal year began July 1.
The board will see a significant decrease in its general fund budget primarily because there are fewer pay periods in the 2014 fiscal year, Griffith said.
In 2013, the district's employees saw 27 pay periods.
This year marks the second year of a two-year pay freeze agreed upon by the district's four unions as the district faced budget cuts after the district failed a levy in November 2011.
With the wage freeze and only 26 pays, the district will pay $3.4 million less on salaries this year and $311,725 less in benefits.
The budget does show $1.5 million more being spent on purchased services, which includes contract employees through agencies such as the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, and $1.1 million more on capital outlay, meant for improvements to technology, Griffith said.
The board is scheduled to hear a second reading of the budget, and to take a vote, at its next board meeting, at 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave.