The public hearing will take place the night the board is slated to approve the second reading of the budget.
On Monday, the board approved the first reading of the budget, in name only.
The Fiscal Year 2012-2013 general fund budget is currently $97,495, 973, according to Clark Webb, district director of financial services.
Board Chairman Alex Saitta said that board members and district leadership have been meeting with school faculties this year to get their input and hear their concerns. Last year, the board and district leadership met with school principals.
“Most every school had a issue that was particular to their school, but there were two primary issues that cut across most schools,” Saitta said. “The first issue was the lack of pay raises for some employees the past three to four years.
“This is a difficult economic environment, so pay raises have been hard to come by for all employees,” he continued. “Most district employees have been very understanding and we appreciate that as we’ve all worked through the pay issue. Thanks to the state legislature, a firming economy and prudent budgeting by the school board, employees should receive a 2% pay raise next year.”
Saitta said the economic climate in the district has changed, as compared to last year.
“Last year at this time the district was talking about laying off up to 100 employees and that was devastating morale,” he said. “Thanks to some tough budget decisions by the board last year, the budget this year and next year is balanced and the lay-offs are likely over. Employees are no longer worried about losing their jobs and again can focus on doing their jobs.”
The budget maintains the current teacher-student ratio, Webb said.
Over the next two months, district leadership will continue to monitor current year local revenue projections to gauge their impact on the district’s fund balance.
After the first reading Monday night, Saitta said the budget needs better financial management and more of a focus on the classroom.
“I know there is not a lot of new revenue, and most is being spent on required pay raises, and rising medical and retirements costs,” Saitta said. “If there is any extra money, it needs to go to the classroom – more 4k classes, adding a K-12 program for students reading below grade level and more classroom teachers.
“Additionally, the district leadership needs to focus on non-classroom areas and reduce/ cut items that are the least important,” he continued. “Then, take those savings and spend it in the classroom where it is most needed. Right now, I’m not seeing such financial management in this budget and it is disappointing.”
Third and final reading of the 2012-2012 budget is slated for June 11 during a called board meeting.