Sedalia School District 200 mulls budget options

January 28, 2010

Sedalia School District 200 stands to lose $230,000 in state funding this year under Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed budget cut.

Nixon’s budget office confirmed Jan. 21 that schools would not get the $43 million mid-year increase called for under the school funding formula for the 2009-10 academic year.

To compensate for the 1.5 percent decrease in funds for the 2009-10 school year, Sedalia School District 200 has formed a committee to review the budget for the current school year as well as the next two school years.

According to Superintendent Harriet Wolfe, committee members met this week to discuss options related to trimming the school’s budget.

Budget committee members are Wolfe, Board of Education President Jeffrey Sharp, Board of Education member Ken Coffelt, Assistant Superintendent Nancy Scott, secondary principal representative Martin White and elementary principal representative Lisa Volk. Also on the committee are teachers union representatives Robin Wyatte, Brendan Eisenmenger, Kathy Lange and Laura Peck, along with Pettis County Early Childhood representative Cindy Moon.

Wolfe said members represent both certified and non-certified staff from every school in the district.

Much of Tuesday’s meeting was spent apprising the committee on state revenues and how they affect the district’s budget. Members also learned of a recent announcement by the state appropriations committee that was delivered to Scott late Monday afternoon stating Missouri schools would be pro-rated in the current school year.

The amount of state funding a school receives is based on several factors including attendance, summer school enrollment, wages, English-learning students and the number of students enrolled who qualify for free or reduced meals.

Wolfe said committee members also discussed what is essential for Sedalia students. Teachers and textbooks, or instructional technology, topped the list.

“We tried to arrive at a consensus on core essential items Sedalia needs to educate students,” Wolfe said.

The committee is scheduled to meet Feb. 25 to continue discussing the budget. At future meetings, committee members will be tasked with creating three separate budget scenarios for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.

“They will come up with a best case, worse case and middle case scenario,” Wolfe said.