Jefferson City School Board talks about 2016-17 budget

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City School Board held a public work session on Monday to talk about the 2016-17 budget before the formal meeting in mid-March.

"We have some newer board members and we don't want them to see this budget for the first time in March," Jason Hoffman, the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, said.

Hoffman said they are going to issue contracts to new teachers by April 15 and want the board to feel comfortable that there is enough money in the budget to hire new teachers. 

"We will also be getting two new board members in April," Hoffman said. 

At the meeting, Hoffman said there is a projected $500,000 decrease in state aid money for the 2016-17 school year.

"We are doing things differently this year. In the past we were spending money on capital improvements and we are shifting those moneys into the operations part of our budget," Hoffman said.

He said the biggest chunk of the budget will go to salaries and benefits.

"Last year we did a tremendous amount of capital improvements throughout the district," Hoffman said.

The budget report shows 2015 was the sixth straight year of kindergarten classes with more than 700 students and the elementary enrollment has grown by 600 students since the 2007-08 school year.

Despite that, enrollment numbers are expected to be lower for the 2016-17 school year.

The projected deficit for the 2016-17 school year is a little more than one million dollars.

Hoffman said that part of that deficit is the projected decrease in state aid money.

"We are basically paid on a per people basis, so as that goes down the amount that you get is going to be less," Hoffman said.