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9/20/2013 2:36:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Red Hill school board adopts 2013-14 budget
BRIDGEPORT - One of the toughest tasks for a school board and its administration each year is sculpting the most efficient budget possible.

With state financial woes leading to cutbacks and changes each year, putting together a budget becomes even more difficult.

At Thursday's monthly school board meeting the Red Hill Unit 10 school board adopted a budget that projects a small, $20,793, deficit.

Superintendent Matt Seaton said he feels good about the spending plan.

"I feel like we have a very strong budget. It's a conservative budget," Seaton said. "We have tried to take into account all of the lack of state funding that we're not getting this year and combine that with some efficiencies we've been able to make on our expenditure side, and overall out of a $9.1 million budget we are only projecting to be about $20,000 in the red, which we feel very good about."

While preparing the budget, Seaton said he had been expecting about $80,000 more than the district will get. That $80,000 was the difference between a surplus and deficit budget.

"The way the stage legislature divvied up our general state aid this year, they appropriated one lump sum. They were trying to fund general state aid at 89 percent. Well, the number they attached to it ended up not being quite enough to get it to 89 percent," Seaton explaining, noting that the number ended up being 88.7 percent.

Combine that lower number with the fact that state aid is based on enrollment and the district enrollment is down a little and the result turned out to cost Red Hill about $80,000.

"If we had gotten that, we would have been in real nice shape," Seaton said.

The 2013-14 budget projects $9,172,003 in revenues and $9,192,796 in expenditures.

Seaton pointed out that five years ago the Red Hill district had $10,013,554 in revenue.

RED HILL STUDENTS in grades three, five, seven, nine and 11 will participate in a new state program that is being designed to replace the ISAT test.

"The state board of education is transitioning into a new state test called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers) and we, along with many other school districts in the state, have been selected to pilot that new test this spring," Seaton said. "It will be an online test. The students won't have paper and pencil. It will be a completely computer-based test."

Seaton told the board that now the district needs to make sure it has the technology infrastructure to sustain the test in the spring.

Seaton said while Sumner Attendance Center and Bridgeport have the technology to administer the test, work needs to be done to get Red Hill Junior/Senior High School ready.

In anticipation of the testing changes in the future, the district has been working on upgrading its technology, as funds allow.


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