HOUGHTON - The Houghton-Portage Township School District approved a $10.2 million general fund budget at its June meeting Monday.
The budget has $10,016,334 in revenues and $10,171,630 in appropriations, respectively a 3 percent decline and 2.3 percent increase over last year.
After jumping from $146,288 in July 2011 to an estimated $537,681 June 30, the fund equity is expected to dip to $382,385 at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Members of the Houghton-Portage Township School District listen to a report by Randy Ricchi, district business manager, at a board meeting Monday.
Local and state revenues were up over last year, but federal dropped from $625,616 to $195,229. Business Manager Randy Ricchi said that much of that came from the Even Start program, for which the district had served as the fiduciary agent for B-H-K Child Development.
Because of the new full-day kindergarten, the district will add two kindergarten teachers, Ricchi said. There will also be an additional third-grade teacher and a high school teacher.
"That's to make up for going without one for a couple of years," he said.
The budget includes the $120-per-student increase adopted as part of the state budget earlier this month.
Pension and salaries increased, while insurance premiums dropped by 6 percent.
Board members heard an update on BRIDGE Alternative High School from Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil. She said they would probably know within the next couple of weeks if the Copper Country Intermediate School District was going to take over operations from Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools.
"I did remind (Copper Country Intermediate School District Superintendent Dennis Harbour) that we here at Houghton are very much in support of the alternative school continuing, and we'd be supportive in whatever needs and direction that took," she said.
If the CCISD does not take the school back over, it will not exist, Klingbeil said. If it does, Houghton is expected to have nine to 10 students in the school next year. Klingbeil said without BRIDGE as an option, students would likely either return to Houghton, go to Horizons Alternative High School or drop out.
Board President Buck Foltz said BRIDGE ending would alter his view of collaborating with districts on other projects.
"This is an extremely important program for a lot of kids that are probably our most vulnerable, and if we can't get this done, then there's no point in talking about a lot of the other stuff, because we're not getting 'er done," he said.
Nels Christopherson, who sits on both the Houghton and CCISD boards, said the board would likely say at its next meeting that it was fully in support of BRIDGE School continuing.
"But you still have to be able to pay for it," he said.
In other action, the board:
approved continuing the district's participation with the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
approved levying and collecting taxes of 18 operating mills and 8.89 mills for debt retirement during the 2012-13 fiscal year.
approved amending the 2011-12 budget.
set the first day of school for Sept. 5.
set July 16 as the date for the regular July meeting.
extended officer terms because of the change in election date.
heard an administrative report from Middle School Principal Jim Luoma.
Two people from Lansing visited and heard from students about their audit of the quality of walking options for students. Students who rode with Sara Salo during her visit to Houghton also received flashing bicycle lights. Luoma said teacher Jeff Hauswirth will be holding a book signing for his recently written book.
heard an administrative report from Elementary School Principal Patrick Aldrich. The school had Field Day at the end of May, including a special lunch. The fifth-grade graduation went well, he said.
"I can assure you we are sending a great group to the middle school," he said. "Academically, socially, they are exceptional kids."
went into executive session to discuss contract negotiations.