School Board adopts budget

Spending plan includes 10 new teaching positions

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The 2012-13 Camas School District budget includes the addition of 10 new teaching positions as well as a full-time registrar and data coordinator.

Business Manager Donna Gregg presented the $54.1 million general fund spending plan to the School Board Monday night. The 2011-12 general fund budget was $51.7 million.

Staff additions are to accommodate for growth within programs as well as a projected two percent enrollment growth, Gregg said.

In addition, the district is “very understaffed” to keep up with state data requirements, she added.

“There are continuous data requirements from the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Education, and for the size of our district, one individual is unable to keep up with the work load,” she said.

New staff members will include two full-time teaching positions at the elementary school level, two at the middle school level, and 2.3 at the high school level. In addition, a full-time special education position will be added, as well as a Literacy and Early Advocacy Program (L.E.A.P.) instructor.

The district had L.E.A.P. for two years, but it was cut out in 2009 due to budget reductions.

“I am glad that L.E.A.P. has been brought back for early intervention for students joining us in kindergarten who need more time and direct reading instruction to prepare as they move to first grade,” Superintendent Mike Nerland said. “We saw results when we had it in place for two years, and I’m sure we will again.”

Approximately 85 percent of the budget is personnel costs, 9.2 percent is for items such as fuel, insurance and service contracts, and 6 percent is discretionary.

“When 85 percent of your budget is personnel, there isn’t a lot of room for discretionary costs,” Gregg said.

The budget also includes a 7 percent ending fund balance at the end of the 2012-13 budget year.

“The larger you grow, the harder it is to have that balance,” Gregg said. “But it takes about 8 percent every month to pay the bills, so I like to keep it there.”