06/03/12 — School board will eye budget proposal

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School board will eye budget proposal

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 3, 2012 1:50 AM

An interim budget for the school system until the state finalizes its version and an expansion proposal for Wayne School of Engineering will be among items discussed Monday night by the Board of Education, along with several contracts for construction projects in the district.

Proposing an interim budget to carry the district through the summer months is nothing new, said Nan Barwick, assistant superintendent for finance.

In recent years, it has become a common theme, as the state lags behind in approving its appropriations and allotments. There have been occasions, she said, when the school year began and it was as late as October before the state budget was passed.

As financial officer, Ms. Barwick said she typically calculates a quarter of what is needed in the annual budget to ensure the district can continue to meet operational expenses in the interim.

Extending the grade levels served at Wayne School of Engineering is also on the agenda.

In mid-May, principal Gary Hales made a presentation to two committees of the board, proposing the addition of younger students at the non-traditional STEM high school, so named for its concentration in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

He said his intent is to be able to recruit students in the fifth and eighth grades, then cap enrollment at 400. The school, introduced in the fall of 2007, has catered primarily to high school students.

Six contracts are up for consideration, including the board attorney's annual retainer of $37,110.

Others include a $79,780 bid for auditorium seating, removing and replacing chairs at Fremont STARS Elementary School; $122,200 to replace a chiller at Greenwood Middle; a $6,405 bid from Seegars Fence to replace fencing on the baseball field used by Goldsboro High at Wayne Middle High Academy; $13,700 to hire Brimberry Custom Painting to do work at Norwayne Middle, which includes the gym, P.E. offices, locker rooms, music and band rooms, hall, lobby and stage; and a $1 million bid to replace shingle roofs with a metal version on all buildings at Eastern Wayne Elementary School.

The board will also hear a presentation about new child nutrition health standards from Barbara Ward, director of child nutrition for the district.

At its May meeting, the board approved a 25-cent increase to school lunch prices, bringing them to $2.25 for grades K-12 starting in the fall.

The increase was attributed in part to the state Department of Public Instruction, which is requiring school districts to raise prices by at least 10 cents, as well as anticipated costs incurred when districts must purchase healthier food in line with recommended serving options.