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home : local news : local news

9/20/2012 2:12:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Unit 20 board approves budget, discusses LHS lunch policy
LAWRENCEVILLE - In light of continued state financial difficulties and uncertainties, putting together an operating budget is no easy task.

Following a budget hearing Wednesday night at its monthly meeting, the Unit 20 school board adopted its 2012-2013 operating budget. The spending plan had been on file since the board passed the tentative budget 30 days ago.

The $3,960,000 district operating budget calls for a projected deficit of $89,074.

"In reality we're pretty pleased about that. It could have been much worse," Superintendent Charles Stegall said following the meeting. "I know many area schools are looking at several hundred thousand dollars in deficit. I did caution the board. I said if something out of the ordinary happens, then that could up the deficit." 

Stegall explained that even with a deficit that could finish in the red, the district is in good shape, overall.

"By the end of the fiscal year we're estimating we're going to have $3,960,000 in our four operating funds. We're feeling pretty good about the direction we're going financially. We're just hoping the state straightens itself out," Stegall said. "Right now we're at 89 percent of our state aid coming in instead of 100 percent. If state aid came in at 100 percent, there would be plenty of money in the black, but right now we're looking at a minor deficit."

WITH NEW Lawrenceville High School more than 50 percent complete, and projected to be finished as early as April, the board is still looking at how it will handle lunches.

LHS Principal Paul Higginbotham said he sent surveys to 12 Lawrenceville businesses asking them how they felt about the open or closed campus debate. He said he had gotten five of the surveys back with two favoring a closed campus and three were in favor of an open campus.

Higginbotham also talked to several area schools and learned that about half of the other districts are open and half closed. Many of the open districts are only open for juniors and seniors with a closed campus for freshman and sophomores.

There is also a survey on the district website (CUSD20.com). 

"There is a survey there that parents and community members can go to and give us some feedback as well. We're just looking for some feedback to get an idea as to what people are seeing with the new LHS, related to whether to close the campus or open the campus or have a partially closed campus. That's (partially open) an option that was floated around tonight," Stegall said, following the meeting.

To get to the survey, go to the district website and then click the link for Lawrenceville High School.

(Full story can be found in Thursday's Daily Record)





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