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Centennial Officials Working to Close $3 Million Budget Gap

The school district's business administrator is confident that the final number will fall below the record $100 million preliminary budget.

As Centennial school distrct parents recover from the initial sticker shock of the $100 million preliminary budget for the 2012-2013 school year, several officials have given assurances that the final budget adopted in June will be reduced below the century mark.

"It's a long process," said school director Michael Hartline. "We just need to get this preliminary budget approved to get the process moving."

The preliminary budget shows $100,291,782 in expenses calculated against $97,007,451 in projected revenues, leaving the school board and administration with the task of overcoming the approximately $3 million gap.

Centennial Business Administrator Chris Berdnik says that several factors were not calculated into the preliminary budget due to incomplete information, such as the effects of the elementary school consolidations and the final decisions regarding changes to the middle schools' structure.

"The education committee has been holding meetings regarding class sizes," said Berdnik. "I want to respect their process, wait for their recommendations and see what the board decides as far as staff reductions. We are also looking at whether or not it would be more cost effective to change the middle school structure to a junior high model."

By reconfiguring into a junior high, teaching staff can be reduced and reorganized into subject-specific departments, Berdnik said.

A 1.7% tax raise that follows Act 1 requirements has been factored into the projected revenues, meaning a 1.93 millage increase, which translates to an additional $51 for taxpayers.

Pete Krenshaw January 12, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I agree with you on how it seems we are getting less while paying more (a trend we can expect to continue for several years from what we are seeing). But I am not sure how changing the middle school into a junior high format will be a negative impact on current elementary students. Since the elementary student has never been in middle school or junior high, how would they know the difference? There are arguments on how a junior high environment is beneficial as it helps prepare the child for the high school model and curriculum utilizing the subject-specific departments. Either way, CSD continues to be penny wise and pound foolish.

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