STEVENSVILLE — Lakeshore Public Schools will start its new fiscal year on a solid financial footing, judging by its preliminary budget numbers.
School board members approved $27.5 million in revenues and $27.9 million in expenses Monday night, leaving a $400,000 difference to be made up from the district’s fund balance, Business Manager Tracy Althouse said.
The district’s total fund balance stands at $2.5 million – about 9 percent once the difference is made up, she added.
Board members approved the figures as part of Michigan’s Truth-in-Taxation law, which requires schools to adopt budgets before starting their new fiscal year on July 1, Superintendent Phil Freeman said.
“We’ll have another budget meeting at the end of June, to do our final budget,” Freeman said. “We had to do the preliminary numbers, so we could get them out to the (Lincoln) township, so they could do the tax rolls.”
In crafting its 2019-20 budget, the district assumed a $200 per pupil increase in state aid, from $7,871, to $8,071 per student, and a net loss of 20 students, from 2,790 to 2,770 students, Althouse said.
The district also assumes wage increases of 1 to 2 percent for all employee groups, two new teaching positions, and that it will take out a loan for two new buses, according to Althouse.
“Those are the major assumptions, I would say,” she said.
The board also adopted millage rates for the 2019-20 school year.
However, the only change came in the 2013 school building and site bond issue, which fell from 2.87 mills last year, to its new rate of 2.72 mills, figures show.
All other millages remain at last year’s levels, including the district’s building and site sinking fund, at 1.4971 mills, and 6 and 18 mills for homestead and non-homestead, respectively.
In other business, the board awarded bids for four projects, starting with a $98,000 carpet replacement job at Lakeshore Middle School. Professional Floor Installation of Benton Harbor will do the work. They were the only bidder.
“This carpet came from the ‘94 bond. Anybody who’s been in this building knows this carpet has stood the test of time as well as it possibly can,” Freeman said.
Wines & Sons Masonry, of Benton Harbor, won a $49,985 stadium masonry repair bid. They, too, were the only bidder.
“On a regular basis, we have to go back and do repairs to our stadium, (like) tuckpointing and other things, to make it safe for everybody,” Freeman said.
Both projects will come out of the sinking fund, he added.
Freeman didn’t see an issue with having only one bidder for both projects, because both companies have done similar jobs in the past, and the district has been highly satisfied with their work, he said.
The board also awarded a $32,500 architectural lighting parts bid to TLS Sales, Inc. of Ann Arbor and a $26,503 bid for architectural projection parts to Howard Technology Solutions, of Ellisville, Miss., for the high school auditorium.
Funding for both projects will come out of a Lakeshore Education Foundation grant, Freeman said.
The board also hired Allison Graves and Julie Radchua to teach fourth- and fifth-grade, respectively, for the 2019-20 school year.
Graves will teach her first job in the field at Stewart Elementary School. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Mary’s College.
Raducha has been teaching in Germany since 2012, so she won’t be back in the district until July 1, when she’ll start teaching at Hollywood Elementary School, Assistant Superintendent Julie Powell said.
Radchua also taught in Battle Creek. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University.