Board of Education projects increase in budget for the upcoming school year
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public School District (CPS) is working on budget increase for the 2017-2018 school year as the city of Columbia grows.
Linda Quinley, chief financial officer, proposed an increase last Wednesday to the Columbia Board of Education Finance Committee and presented it Monday night to the full Board of Education.
Up until Monday evening, the district had projected the budget for the upcoming school year would be around $3.39 million, leaving a $190,000 gap in spending and revenue, projected to be around $3.2 million.
However, Quinley released a new estimated budget of over $5.2 million.
Michelle Baumstark, CPS community relations director, said that the budget increase is possible because of the tax levy of 65-cents approved by voters last April.
She also said changes like this are common at the beginning of a budget construction.
"The process of building a budget is very fluid up until the final budget is ready to be presented to the Board of Education," said Baumstark. "We are still very early in the process, so a lot of the numbers are not quit finalized yet."
The budget includes items such as insurance, student transportation, utilities and school professional salaries.
"Increase is necessary for continuing to retain our existing employees, as well as our school district continues to grow," said Baumstark.
The proposal also includes one-time needs such as the Grant Elementary School reform, math curriculum adaptation and furniture for Douglass High School.
The recommended budget proposal is part of the development of a five-year model.
The board has until June 30 to finalize the entire budget.