Press-Republican

Local News

May 2, 2014

Peru Central budget maintains programs

PERU — For the first time in several years, Peru Central School has proposed a spending plan that maintains all current programs and staffing levels.

The School Board recently adopted a $42,393,586 budget for 2014-15, which is up $1.4 million from this year’s plan and calls for a tax-levy increase of 1.92 percent.

The district’s state-allowed levy limit is just over 2 percent.

PAST CUTS HELPED

School officials credited Peru Central’s ability to make ends meet in the coming year, in part, to the nearly $5 million in reductions made over the previous four years.

That fiscal tightening, said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein, has put the district in a better financial position.

The school also benefited from offering a local retirement incentive last year.

“That enabled us to capitalize on some retirees,” said Peru School Business Administrator Randy Sapp.

MORE STATE AID

In addition, the district anticipates receiving $1.1 million more state aid in 2014-15 than it did this year, which, he noted, is a considerably larger increase than the school had grown accustomed to.

“That allows us, for the first year in several years, to be able to maintain programs,” Sapp said.

Though the proposal does allocate some fund balance in case of unforeseen expenditures, he continued, the district’s goal is not to spend that money.

NEW POSITIONS

The plan includes funding for additional special-education and speech positions to accommodate projected increases in students requiring those services, as well as a behavioral-support counselor position to assist with promoting a positive school culture.

The proposal also calls for the creation of a part-time office to handle requests to use district facilities for community functions and organize classes for members of the public.

In addition, previously reduced funding for field trips and post-season play related to athletic and academic competitions is restored in the 2014-15 plan.

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