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Hart district has budget to hire

District may add teachers, other positions

Posted: June 29, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 29, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

The recently approved William S. Hart Union High School District budget includes funding for additional hiring, according to officials.

According to a budget presentation made to the district board, the district is looking at adding teachers and classified positions.

The adopted budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 year also includes funding for the position of career technical education administrator, according to Erin Lillibridge, chief financial officer for the district.

“We have a number of positions that we’re looking at restoring or adding to the district,” Lillibridge said last week.

General fund revenues for the district are expected to total around $188.2 million, according to projections in the budget, which was adopted earlier this month.

The adopted budget includes general fund deficit spending, with the district’s expenditures projected to outpace its revenues by roughly $17.3 million.

Lillibridge said that is largely a result of the district spending down the hefty reserve it built up during the recent recession.

A major part of the budget equation is the average daily attendance in the district, which plays a role in determining how much the district will receive in funding.

Since 2007-2008, the Hart district has experienced a steady decline in enrollment, and that trend is projected to continue in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 before ticking up slightly in 2016-2017, according to the budget.

Although the economic climate continues to improve, Lillibridge said the district still faces some challenges moving forward, including increasing costs as part of the state’s push to require school districts to contribute more to retirement for employees.

“It’s quite a substantial liability, and the state has shifted quite a bit of that responsibility onto employers,” she said.

Implementation of the Common Core State Standards also presents a challenge for the district.

Although the state has only provided one-time funds for implementation, there are other, ongoing costs associated with implementing the standards, according to district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

“We’re still looking to move toward, as much as possible, a one-to-one computing situation for our students, and that will continue to take some investment in technology in our schools,” Pinsker said.

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