By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Norman Board of Education approved a Fiscal Year 2014 budget Monday that exceeds expected revenue by $3.1 million.
The budget was first presented at the board’s June 3 meeting, with NPS Chief Financial Officer Brenda Burkett detailing factors contributing to the district’s expected financial future.
“We’re still reviewing our expenditure budget. Since I’ve put this information together, we’re looking at how to meet needs and make additional reductions,” Burkett said. “About 91 percent of our budget is personnel, so when you carve out other expenditures like fuel for the buses, insurance and bills, there’s not a lot of wiggle room.”
Projected revenue for FY 2014, which starts July 1, is $91,874,236. Expenditures are projected to run $94,979,842. The district’s current fund balance of $6.9 million means it will have $98,796,896 in unaudited, available funds should the projected revenue prove to be accurate.
“We’re looking at 11 less positions, mostly at the elementary level. We’re working with principals to see what their enrollment numbers look like, but there’s no way we can staff across the board so early in the school year,” Burkett said.
“This will be a difficult line item to hold,” Superintendent Joe Siano said. “We have to staff conservatively and watch our growth, but this will not be a year where we can reduce class sizes, rather we’ll struggle to maintain them.”
Burkett said the two major factors determining budget — state allocation and assessed valuation for tax revenue — will not be solid until the fall but said she anticipates Monday’s presentation to be a “worst-case scenario.”
Students of the KIOWA KIDS Language Program presented songs and a skit to the board and guests, which were submitted to the Native American Youth Language Fair at Sam Noble Museum, and received first place in its category.