Central Montcalm schools OK’s 2012-2013 budget

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 10:59 am on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

STANTON — The Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education approved the 2012-2013 budget, after a few last-minute amendments.

The board voted 5-0 to approve $15,000,169 in general fund appropriations for the 2012-2013 year with increases in revenue and decreases in expenditure.

“The last amendments you made help to more accurately represent the balance of what you take with what goes out,” Business Manager Ron Simon told board members.

Increases in revenue are coming from three sources — the state per-pupil grant increasing by $120, producing an increase in revenue of $214,920; a $52 per-student “Best Practices” incentive that increased revenue by $93,132; and a Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Systems cost offset reinstated at the same rate as last year’s for a revenue increase of $164,260, according to Simon.

A key component in decreasing expenditures came from staff and support staff, said Superintendent Jake Helms in his last school board meeting before retiring at the end of this month.

“We did negotiations in a very positive manner, and worked very cooperatively to reduce costs with the staff,” Helms said. “The same thing with the support staff.”

The two groups adjusted step increases and many opted for changes in insurance benefits, saving $230,000 in costs, he said.

“Now it is a much more positive picture than it was even in May,” Simon said.

The board also looked at noninstructional services and bids for privatization of custodial, transportation and grounds crews.

“Looking at the bids, I did not see enough of a savings to justify recommending going to privatization,” said Helms.

The board voted 5-0 to reject the privatization proposal.

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