The Norman Transcript


June 4, 2013

Budget projections presented to school board

NORMAN — The ripple effects of stagnant revenue and tough legislation were reflected in past and projected Norman Public Schools’ budgets, presented Monday evening to the Board of Education.

NPS Chief Financial Officer Brenda Burkett emphasized that her projections and calculations are always “worst-case scenarios” and detailed factors helping and hurting the district’s annual budgets, such as revenue, state legislation and federal funding.

“I said this many times. The reason our district ended last year with such a healthy fund balance wasn’t because of state funding. It was the federal dollars we were receiving,” Burkett said. “Using bond money creatively was also hugely helpful, such as purchasing text books and instructional technology with bond dollars — which is legal. Had they still been out of general fund, we never would have ended with the balance we did.”

Projected revenue for 2012-2013 was $92.6 million. Projected expenditures were $96.6 million, showing a disparity of almost $4 million. The federal dollars, which Burkett said were awarded in 2011, were carried over into Fiscal Year 2012, meaning the district will not have this resource for 2013-2014.

A key reason for the excess of expenditure budget over revenue was the district’s decision to increase teachers’ compensation, making up for lags in previous years due to more dire budget situations.

“Our school employees and staff received minimal compensation increases over the years. With such a strong fund balance and utilizing every resource, we were able to enrich compensation schedules, unlike preceding years,” Burkett said.

Superintendent Joe Siano voiced his appreciation of this measure and the board’s prioritization of NPS faculty and staff.

“The board has always said that when dollars were available for compensation, that would be a priority,” Siano said. “We feel like we have a staff that is some of the best in the state.

“The safer rate would be to hang onto our healthy fund balance, but our employees waited and the budget was healthy enough to make that commitment, and we need to be fair when we say we can.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • honor_roll.jpg Local students make the grade

    Norman Public Schools has released the most recent honor rolls. Click a school to see if you know a student who made the grade.

    View honor rolls for Norman High School | Norman North High School
    Alcott Middle School | Irving Middle School | Longfellow Middle School | Whittier Middle School

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Little Axe students eligible for GEAR UP University

    Little Axe Public School students entering the ninth-12th grade in the fall 2014 are eligible to apply to GEAR UP University, a summer academic and leadership program available only to 24 state school districts during June 2014....

    April 18, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Free Employment Law webinar offered by MNTC

    On May 6, Moore Norman Technology Center’s Business Development Center will host a free webinar titled “Employment Law — The Basics.” The hourlong webinar, led by Robert Norman, Esq., attorney with Cheek & Falcone PLLC, and Greg Kieson, ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • MNTC to host board meeting this week

    The Moore Norman Technology Center Board of Education will meet in a regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Norman campus, 4701 12th Ave. NW....

    April 15, 2014

  • Dar Local students win contest

    Three Norman students were rewarded first place for trying their hands at fiction essays for the Oklahoma Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay Contest. Sean Cheng, Karina Feng and Keever Jane Greer wrote captivating ...

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo