Kyrene OKs budget, gives staff first raise in 4 years
The Kyrene School District Governing Board unanimously approved its 2012-13 budget at a board meeting July 10.
The board, made up of President Michelle Hirsch, Vice President Beth Brizel and members Ellen Shamah and Bernadette Coggins, voted 4-0 for the proposed budget. Board member Ross Robb was not present at this session.
The budget will give staff a two percent pay raise, their first in four years.
In the budget’s early stages, some community members feared a raise in taxes. However, the school district worked out a budget that achieved its goals without raising taxes.
“It speaks volumes that there were no public comments, no emails, and no complaints because we’ve worked out a solution that works.”
According to Hirsch, the budget has been in the works since June 2011. The board added extra study sessions prior to its meetings for the past 13 months to make sure that every voice was heard and the details of the budget could be perfected.
“This [budget] reflects our team approach for doing what’s best for all students,” said Jeremy Calles, the district’s chief financial officer.
Calles said the board has handled each budget-balancing strategy individually over the past 13 months in order to create the most effective overall solution. He said that if all strategies are implemented, the district could see $5.4 million in cuts, compared to the projected $5.2 million.
Calles also added that with this budget Kyrene now leads the state in the highest percentage of dollars going toward the classroom.
Throughout the next year, the 2012-13 budget will continue to be updated. The board will focus on maximizing the capital budget and will begin projections on the budget for 2013-14.
For more detailed information, visit the Kyrene School District website, www.kyrene.org .