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USD 489 BOE hears budget news at work session





It was a good news, bad news budget scenario at the Hays USD 489 Board of Education work session Monday night.

District business manager Tracy Kaiser updated the board on the list of budget increases and reductions for fiscal year 2014-15.

The good news was health insurance premiums aren't going to increase as much as expected.

Rather than the entire health insurance premium increasing the projected 10 percent, the employers' share of the premium will go down 2 percent, Kaiser said.

Only the employees' portion, which also is paid by the school district, will increase the anticipated 10 percent.

The increase is expected to cost an additional $45,500 in premiums, bringing the total shortfall to $1,191,500 rather than the estimated $1.3 million.

Kaiser said the premium decrease means the district will reap a savings of $3,100. Projected savings from licensing and software also increased $1,600.

Total savings from cuts already approved and pending increased revenue is expected to be $1.4 million.

Changes in state funding will have a negative effect on the district, Superintendent Dean Katt said.

"I heard from our legislators, and they were unable to make the change in the language (of the state finance bill), so we will lose new facilities weighting," Katt said.

The district had expected to receive a total of $120,000 in new facilities weighting for the Hays Middle School addition.

Because virtual weighting was excluded, the increase in the local option budget also will have a negative effect of $7,064 on aid the district receives from the state.

An increase in the base state aid per pupil is estimated to bring $22,000 to the district, but the overall total impact is $105,064 less than anticipated.

"The new plan did not work out so well for us," Katt said.

At the conclusion of the work session, the board had two executive sessions including central office administrators and board attorney Bill Jeter for a total of 45 minutes to discuss negotiations, attorney-client privilege and non-elected personnel.