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.