LEXINGTON – The Lexington School Board approved a $10 Million budget increase over last year. However, the money is not expected to be spent.
The LPS budget will be set at $43 Million. The increase was approved with the idea that the money would be a contingency in case the need for it arose. Finance Director Erin Heineman said that the money won’t be used.
“We build in a contingency in the budget,” Heineman said, “knowing that we aren’t going to spend it. We put it in there because that is the maximum we could spend if something came up during the year, like an emergency – something unforeseen. The board then could spend that money, but we won’t.”
The money will move into cash reserves assuming that it isn’t used. This then allows the board funds to carry-over. Superintendent Dr. John Hakonson said that LPS is well below the state average in cash reserves.
School official state that 75% of the expenditures in the budget go to personnel salaries. Heineman said that state aid has remained flat while salaries have increased steadily.
The district will not be asking for a raise in local taxes and for the second year in row there won’t be a bond levy increase for the taxpayers. Haskonson also reported that all construction is paid off.
In other news, Hakonson reported that enrollment continues to rise at LPS with a 20% increase since 2000.
The board also heard that Dibels Testing in the elementary has shown marked improvement especially from last year’s kindergarten class.
The teacher to student ratio in the high school is 18.6. Hakonson was pleased with this number.
“We want it to be below 20 to 1 ratio,” Hakonson said, “so, this is a very good thing.”