By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education approved a $187 million general fund budget during its June 22 meeting.
The budget was presented to the board during the June 8 meeting by DPS Executive Director of Business and Operation Samuel Barna and Supt. Brian Whiston.
Overall, the budget is about $600,000 larger than the initial $181 million budget originally proposed for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The 2015-16 budget has a net revenue increase of $1.7 million overall from the 2014-15 budget.
“We’re definitely a healthy district, but obviously the higher the fund balance the healthier the district,” Barna said. “The more you have in the piggy bank, the better.”
Included in the approved budget is a $25 foundation allowance per pupil from the state amounting to $1.5 million in additional revenue. There is also an estimated extra $250,000 for collections of local taxes.
Expenditures increased by $1.2 million and will be used for salaries and step increases for qualified employees.
The budget also includes an increased proposed enrollment to 19,700 students in the district for the 2015-16 year. The district will be paying a 2.3 percent increase for healthcare costs on behalf of its employees and is expecting 35 retirements from employees during the next school year.
As a result of additions to buildings through the technology bond, the district will hire three additional custodians to meet staffing needs.
For the 2014-15 fiscal year, the district ended with a balanced budget due to mid-year cuts.
“We did expect to be a little bit in the red but good work by all the staff in making those cuts,” Whiston said. “With mid-year cuts that we faced, being balanced is going to be good news.”
Each year, the board has a goal to add $500,000 in fund equity working toward the end of borrowing money from the state for payroll in the summertime.
The district borrowed $16 million from the state to meet payroll in the months the state doesn’t pay us over the summer and is required to pay the money back with interest and fees included.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)