SHERIDAN — At a regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, the Sheridan County School District 2 Board of Trustees unanimously approved the district’s 2013-2014 budget.
The budget, which includes the general fund, early retirement, major maintenance, food service and other funds, comes in at $75,106,110.
The largest fund within the budget, the general fund, will increase by 2.12 percent over the 2012-2013 fiscal year to $46,916,500. Approximately 82 percent of the general fund is for staff salaries and benefits. Per student spending will remain the same as the current fiscal year at $14,306.
Roxie Taft, business manager for the district, noted in her presentation to the board that with an 11.4 percent decrease in local assessed valuation, the district will be requesting approximately 3 percent more from the state for funding.
“When our local valuation goes down, our reliance on state foundation funds goes up,” she said.
In other business, the board heard a presentation from Todd Richins of Volunteers of America about the Accountability Change in Education (ACE) program that is operated jointly by VOA and the district.
The partnership began in 2007 and provides an alternative program for students who are suspended from school. The program supervises students and allows them to continue their schoolwork during their suspension.
“The primary goal is to provide structure and supervision,” Richins explained. “That in turn helps keep our kids safe while they are serving out of school suspensions.”
Richins reported that ACE supervised 52 elementary school students, 57 junior high students and 163 high school students last year. In addition to continuing their academic work during suspension, students are required to discuss and reflect on the action or behavior that led to their suspension, take responsibility for that action and consider alternate ways to handle similar situations in the future that would not lead to disciplinary action.
SCSD2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty noted that the ACE program is the only one of its kind in the state.
“It is a tremendous resource. Our job is to make this thing as strong as possible,” he told the board, noting that in the coming year, the district and the VOA will work to improve the transition of the students back to the school after their time in the ACE program.
“I am a big proponent of this program,” Board Chairman Scott Hininger added. “I can’t say enough about it and we are tweaking it to make it even better.”
Renewal of the contract between for the ACE program will be voted on Aug. 12.