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Board Receives Updates on District Budget

Huntington, Monday, February 26, 2024 - The board members of the school district convened for a special meeting to discuss the budget for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. This meeting marked the second of four budget work sessions aimed at providing the board with crucial information regarding the district's financial plan.

During the session, the board received updates on various aspects of the budget. No formal action was taken, as the board is still in the process of gathering information and considering the adoption of a budget for the 2024-2025 school year. The deadline for adopting the budget, as mandated by state law, is May 30, 2024, with a potential decision date of April 16, 2024.

One of the key discussions during the meeting revolved around major improvement projects that have been identified, with most requests focusing on safety updates and school maintenance to ensure the smooth functioning of the schools. While the district is still in the process of determining the estimated costs for these projects, a refined list is expected to be presented at a later date, taking into account the specific needs and priorities of the district.

Special education costs were also a topic of discussion during the meeting. Over the past few years, the district has witnessed a sharp rise in special education expenses. The district is currently working on projections for the 2024-2025 school year, which anticipate another significant increase in special education expenditures.

In a separate matter, the district has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining and updating ADA-compliant playgrounds. In recent years, several elementary schools have undergone repairs and upgrades to their playground equipment, with Highlawn Elementary receiving financial assistance of over $150,000 for its playground in preparation for the opening of the new school in Fall 2020. Earlier this month, the board approved a total of $572,800 in funding for playgrounds at Davis Creek Elementary, Milton Elementary, Meadows Elementary, and Southside Elementary. The proposed excess levy includes a provision to allocate an estimated cost of $215,500 per year for School Playgrounds and Outdoor Learning Spaces.

The board will continue to deliberate on the budget and make necessary decisions to ensure the district's financial stability and support for special education and playground improvements. Further updates will be provided at future meetings as the budget planning process progresses.

Chrisa Hayes