First look at Fulton school district budget

Superintendent Bill Lynch reviewed the first draft of the 2013-2014 Fulton City School District budget during Tuesday’s Fulton Board of Education meeting.

The district, a high need and low wealth district highly dependent on state aid for revenue, has proposed a $65.4 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year, which reflects a budget to budget increase of approximately $3 million.

The district is facing higher costs, in part, because the increase in state aid for next year remains well below the four percent aid increase that the state has promised schools, the superintendent said.

Lynch said his goal is to be fiscally responsible while avoiding further cuts to programs and services for students.

“State take backs have significantly reduced the district’s operations and programs at a time when the benchmarks for student proficiency are increasing dramatically,” said Lynch.

There are fewer intervention and AIS supports currently than there were five years ago, he added.

The district continues to face a gap with a $3.1 million deficit. Lynch said that he’d like to keep the local tax levy increase to no more than 1.5 percent, which only fills roughly $300,000 of the deficit.

The superintendent is also proposing the use of $2 million from two reserve funds. Between the tax levy and the reserve funds, the district still falls short $807,350.

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