Print Frugality betters schools’ budget
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 00:00

Planning a budget for the upcoming fiscal year isn’t going to be a bed of roses for any political entity in the region, but the situation for the Camp Verde Unified School District is somewhat improved, thanks to frugal spending by the various departments in the district.

“I have to give credit to the principals on their use of soft capital,” CVUSD Director of Operations Chris Shultz told the Governing Board at its April 12 meeting. “There was also some shrewd purchasing from department heads.”

The school district has also been able to put aside some funds that can be rolled over into the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins Friday, July 1.

Some of that money is already earmarked for certain purposes, Schultz said, including $127,000 that has to be spent on the school’s recent energy efficiency upgrade project.

Of course, a good portion of the budget depends on decisions to be made by the Arizona State Legislature. Other costs are expected to rise next year, Schultz said, including insurance.

The district also plans to spend money on other capital expenses like a couple of used school buses. Schultz justified the expense because they still have half their operational life left yet cost only around one-fifth of what a new bus would.

Schultz said the district might have to come up with around $120,000 in reserve funds to help meet the needs of the school district’s multimillion dollar overall budget.

The district can also expect to receive anywhere from $175,000 to $200,000 in impact aid, Schultz said. Impact aid comes from the government to help cover the costs of students who come from families that don’t pay taxes into the school district.

Board Member Helen Freeman said in some cases that included the children of military personnel or U.S. Forest Service workers who live on federal land, but in Camp Verde it primarily comes from having a significant number of Native American students.

The district has other capital funds on hand that could be shifted around if the district needs to enhance its maintenance and operations budget in the upcoming fiscal year.

“It’s going to let us be much more flexible next year,” Schultz said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Superintendent Dan Brown said the board is expected to further discuss budget issues at a Tuesday, April 26, work session.