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New Triad District Budget Gets School Board Approval

By Charlie Feldman

The Triad School Board approved the budget for fiscal year 2021 at its meeting held on Monday, September 28.

A public hearing was held before the meeting was called to order. A slide presentation hit the high points and gave the numbers. No one phoned in their comments or objections.

In the new budget, revenue for all funds is expected to be $49,359,200; expenses, $49,393,700 with a difference of $34,500 in the red.

The starting balance for operating funds on July 1 was  $6,760,632. FY21 revenues for those are expected to be $38,583,150; expenditures, $38,862,750; and  the estimated ending balance on June 30, 2021, $6,481,032 with a budgeted difference of $279,600, also a deficit.

Operating expenses will total $42,442,800, 68.5 percent of which is salary and benefits.

Total local revenue is budgeted to be $1,549,572 higher than  the FY20 “actual” numbers. The district EAV (Earned Assessment Value) is up 5.41 percent, the sixth year of increase following two years of decline. Total state revenue is budgeted to be up $63,885 from the FY20 “actual” numbers. Evidence Based Funding has remained flat, not allowing for an increase.

Federal revenue typically makes up about 5 percent of district-budgeted revenue. It is estimated to be up by approximately $245,906. The increase is due to two rounds of CARES funding totaling $475,000. According to the presentation, Triad will be working toward ways to maximize efficiency and reduce long-term cost. The most recent example is electricity, it said. The district is estimating a saving of $170,000 from Phase 1 of the solar project.

Some highlights of the district’s plans for next year, according to the presentation, include:

• Improving and maintaining technology for staff and students. This includes increasing the availability of instructional devices to students and faculty; new devices for the staff; updated and added student Chromebooks; and a dedicated staff for remote learning and the learning management systems Seesaw and Canvas to help with it.

• Focusing on initiatives to reduce class size. Nine additional certified staff members will be added.

• Enhancing curriculum. This includes renewal and addition of math in digital form at Triad and High School, among other things.

• Completing operations and maintenance projects. This includes Phase 2 of the Solar Panel Project to further reduce long-term energy costs; renovations at Marine and Wakeland; and obtaining new property on which to provide student services .

• Working on transportation enhancements. The Electric Bus Grant has been awarded, allowing the purchase of three electric buses. The funds are carried over from FY 20. Implementation of fuel management system for all district fuel needs is also planned.

• Using additional revenue. This includes $233,000 and $244,000 from CARES and an extension of the  National School Lunch Program Waiver.

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