CSD budget includes final PERS reserves

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — The Central School District Board of Directors on June 25 passed a $50.84 million budget for the 2018-19 school year.

In a memo to the board, CSD Superintendent Jennifer Kubista said the “budget reflected a change in the reserve and contingency funds, as the district had planned ahead for increases in the Public Employee Retirement System.”

The last of the reserves are being used for pension obligations in the 2018-19 budget, she said.

Kubista said the district has “reconfigured positions and taken advantage of retirements to focus dollars more directly on student services.”

“Primarily, we are not replacing the position of assistant superintendent,” said Business Manager Cec Koontz.

Rich McFarland retired from that position, and instead of hiring another assistant superintendent, the district hired a director-level position, Koontz said.

“Sharman Ensminger-Stapp will be the director of Equity, Access and Instructional Technology,” she said. “That position will support staff and our disadvantaged students. We also added a director of Project Planning and Program Management to oversee many of our smaller initiatives and programs and to help map out actions related to the board’s strategic plan.”

The district also added more than “$250,000 for salary and contract services of instructional assistants for larger-sized classrooms, school psychology services and school nursing services,” she said.

In the budget summary, Koontz said adjustments to existing programs were necessary because of the combination of increasing fixed expenses, such as PERS, and declining or level enrollment.

“Last year, the district left all (Willamette) Educational Service District revenue on their books, paying for services provided,” Koontz said. “This year, the district has returned to ‘passing through revenue’ to its books and taking on the personnel expenses related to speech language specialists, a school psychologist, additional school nursing services and directly paying the company providing substitute staffing management services.”

Koontz said the district will still rely on WESD for many specialized services.

The district is in negotiations with the Oregon School Employees Association, the classified employees’ union and Oregon Education Association, the certified employees’ union.

“Both agreements are open this year and negotiations have barely begun.” Koontz said. “In this budget, the district has applied a projection of a 2 percent increase in the salary schedule. That amount is within budget, but changes during the negotiations process would mean changes to the budget after adoption.”

The district’s five-year grant for the Beyond the Bell Central after school program ended. It was approximately $400,000 per year.

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