Westerville News & Public Opinion

Westerville City Schools

District appropriates $5.3 million less for 2014

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Westerville City School District will operate under a general fund budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that is $5.3 million less than the previous year.

The Board of Education approved a $142.9-million general fund budget at its meeting Monday, Sept. 9. That compares with $148.2 million spent from the general-fund budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Much of the savings comes in the salaries and benefits category, district Treasurer Bart Griffith told the board during the first reading of the budget Aug. 26.

In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the district had 27 pay periods rather than the usual 26.

This year also is the second year of a two-year pay freeze agreed upon by the district's four unions after the failure of a levy in November 2011, allowing the district to further avoid increasing the budget.

In all, the district expects to spend $3.4 million less in salaries and $311,725 less in benefits in the current fiscal year.

The district's total budget for the year, factoring self-sustaining funds such as food service, capital improvements and bond issue debt service, was appropriated at $193.8 million for 2013-2014.

That's $3.2 million more than the overall budget for the 2012-2013 school year.

The increase is in large part due to the district's move to being self-insured, which ultimately brings about a cost savings for the district.

This fiscal year will be the first full year for implementation of the self-insurance fund.

That fund was budgeted at $14 million this year, compared with $5.3 million last year.

Approval of the budget comes well into the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

The board passed a temporary budget in June that was 75 percent of the overall budget.

The delay in rolling out a permanent budget was meant to give the district time to assess how much money it would receive from the state, which finalized its biennial budget this summer.

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