Schools project slight deficit

Mindy Carls

    The Orion school district will show a $45,643 deficit for 2008-09, but it is not big enough for the state to require a deficit reduction plan, school board members learned on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

    Although expenditures will exceed revenues overall, each fund is expected to have a positive balance at the end of the fiscal year in June, Superintendent David Deets said. That’s assuming the school district receives its share of property taxes early.

    “Districts like Orion all over the state face challenges,” he told the board.

    Of the $10,100,318 million in revenues, $6.5 million comes from local sources, $3.4 million from the state and $267,000 from the federal government, Deets said.

    Expenditures are projected at $10,145,961 million, but the district will do everything possible to reduce spending, he said.

    The education deficit is expected to have a deficit of $65,348; operations and maintenance, a deficit of $155,805; and transportation, a deficit of $9,165.

    Working cash should have a surplus of $83,610, the new tort fund a surplus of $29,840 and life safety a surplus of $57,419.

    The budget for 2008-09 is on display at the district office on 11th Avenue, Orion.

    A public hearing will be held on the budget during the next board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24.

In other business

• All three Orion schools individually met No Child Left Behind goals for 2008, but the district as a whole did not because the reading scores for special education and economically disadvantaged students were below the standards.

• Orion High School teacher Laurel Schoon will retire in June 2011 and food service director Geri Bristow in June 2009, the board learned. OHS head cook Bess Arduser retired effective immediately.

• The board hired Brooke (Collin) Schatteman as the early childhood education teacher, Tara Miller as a full-time pre-kindergarten aide and Amber Spranger as a part-time classroom aide, all at C.R. Hanna.

Angela Nelson was hired as the frosh-soph volleyball coach and Michelle Casillas approved as a volunteer volleyball coach, both at OHS.

• A new teacher mentoring program is assigning veteran teachers to help new teachers during their first two years in Orion, coordinator Rhonda Cox told the board. The mentors include Chris Baumann, Scott Briney, Patty Swanson, Andrea Davis, Patty Colburn, Jana Shook, Julie Doxstader, Robin Tuttle and Kathy Harris. A state grant is paying for the program.