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Meridian schools propose 2002-2003 budget

By Staff
EXPLAINING THE NUMBERS Suzanne Smith, left, chief fiscal officer for the Meridian Public School District, explains the proposed budget for the 2002-2003 school year at a public hearing Monday. In the background, school board members B.J. Barrett, President Fred Wile and Vice President Ed Lynch look over their copies of the budget summary. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 18, 2002
More than half of the Meridian Public School District's proposed $53.7 million budget for the next school year would fund classroom instruction, including teacher salaries and classroom supplies.
School officials said $27.2 million would fund instruction one of several categories in the district's overall budget that was explained in detail at a public hearing Monday night.
About 10 people, including members of the media, attended the public hearing. No residents commented on or asked questions about the proposed budget.
School board members are expected to approved the budget at a July 15 meeting. Until then, residents can offer their views and suggestions to the school district office.
The school district budget would increase the operational millage rate 1.67 mills. But because the millage rate for debt service will fall about 2 mills, the overall rate also will fall approximately .33 mills.
The money generated by the operational millage increase will mostly be used for salaries of seven elementary teachers who will help reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
Besides spending $27.2 million on classroom instruction, the proposed budget also includes the following categories:
Operation-maintenance, $4.9 million. This would fund salaries of the operations and maintenance administrator, maintenance workers, custodians, security guards, heating, cooling, phone, electricity, water and property insurance.
Student support services, $2.6 million. This would pay for guidance counselors, nurses and related supplies, materials, travel and equipment.
Food services, $2.6 million. This would cover the salary of the food service administrator, food, supplies and food service employees. The district serves about 500,000 breakfasts and 1 million lunches a year.
General and school administration, $3.1 million. This would cover school board expenses, superintendent and assistant superintendent salaries, principal salaries, travel, supplies, materials and equipment.
About 50 percent of the district's revenues come from the state. Another 32 percent is generated locally and 17 percent comes from federal sources.