The $43 million budget for personnel, which comprises 70.1 percent of the district's $61.3 budget, is due to increase by approximately $415,000 over last year.
Pepe broke down where that money goes:
Regular program instruction: $20,863,146
Special Education: $8,378,570
School administration: $3.6 million
Custodial, maintenance and security: $2.8 million
All other, including guidance, nursing and library: $7.1 million
The district is beginning negotiations with the Summit Education Association and the Summit Principals Association, which make up 98 percent of the district's employees, and as such, the numbers are projections pending contract settlements. Other considerations include staffing changes, such as retirement, leaves and replacements, class size and enrollment growth, block scheduling, which would require additional custodial services and lunch aides, full-day, tuition-based kindergarten, which will vary depending on the number of children who qualify for free or reduced lunch, and new personnel requests, which amount to $1.6 million.
While staffing has increased over the past five years to keep up with student enrollment growth, the amount of money the Summit district has spent for health benefits has actually decreased as employees are contributing more toward their benefits and others, especially those under the age of 26 who can remain covered under their parents' healthcare plans, are opting out of coverage. Those who choose to opt out are compensated to do so. Over the past four years, the district has saved $1.2 million as a result of employees opting out of benefits.
The district's Fund 12 Capital Equipment budget will see the majority of funds go toward purchasing technology equipment, totaling $490,325.90. Pepe said because of upgrades made over time, the district is in a position of maintaining rather than "putting out fires."
Pepe's budget presentation is one of several that will be made in the coming weeks, the Board explained. To view the budget presentation in its entirety, click here.
For other stories from Thursday's meeting, click on the headlines below.Board of Ed to Move Forward With Measures to Broadcast Meetings
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