Columbia Board of Education Passes Budget with Surplus

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education passed the budget for the 2012-13 school year Monday night with a 6-1 vote. The budget includes a $1.2 million surplus. A surplus  indicates total revenues exceed total expenses.

The budget includes $2 million tagged for technology improvements, including new equipment and teacher salaries. About $1 million is going to Battle High School to help the school with its 2013 opening.

In April, voters approved a 40-cent tax levy increase that increased funding to the city's public schools. The tax levy generated almost $7.8 million in revenue. In the new budget, $5.8 million will go toward hiring close to 47 new employees across the district. Almost 33 of those employees will be teachers, and the rest will include counselors, media specialists, psychiatrists and other support staff.

 Voters also approved a $50 million bond issue in April, but that money will not be used until 2014.