The Lonedell R-XIV School Board passed a $4.8 million operating budget for the 2018-19 school year.
The budget projects revenue of $4,765,120 and expenditures at $4,833,257, with a negative balance of $68,137, according to Superintendent Jenny Ulrich.
The superintendent told The Missourian that the deficit spending is due to hiring on campus security.
The district has partnered with a consulting firm that will recruit, train and schedule off-duty police officers. One police officer will be on campus for the 2018-19 year.
“The board is dedicated to providing protection on campus for the next school year, which means they adopted a deficit spend budget to do so,” Ulrich said.
During the course of the upcoming school year, district officials will study other long-term campus security options. Options include hiring a security company/hybrid company, such as Safe Shield, or a security protection officer.
The school protection officer would have to attend three weeks of training in Jefferson City. The SPOs are not commissioned officers, according to Ulrich.
The hybrid company Safe Shield is based in Texas where school personnel would be sent to learn how to use and carry a firearm.
“The deficit budget was adopted for one year as the district studies all options for security needs,” Ulrich said.
A goal for the upcoming school year is “to engage with families, community members, the board of education and staff to study all options available in regards to continuing armed security on campus beyond the 2018-19 school year,” according to Ulrich.
Ulrich encourages anyone who has ideas to contact her at 636-629-0401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The district is saving up to update the wastewater treatment lagoon.
“Each year, we’ve been transferring the maximum amount to our (capital projects fund) because we’ve been saving money in order to address our wastewater treatment project,” Ulrich said.
In 2016, the district started pooling funds to accommodate stricter regulations regarding its wastewater treatment lagoon by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The ammonia levels in the lagoon located behind the school on Highway FF eventually will be too high.
“We are going to have to do some upgrades to our lagoon and so we’ve already begun some of those, but we know it’s going to be a costly project,” Ulrich said.
Wastewater treatment lagoons are designed and constructed for the purpose of providing the right environmental conditions for bacteriological processes to proceed.
In a two-cell system, the first cell is the treatment cell and the second is the holding cell. The process is carried out by breaking down of organic matter by the bacteria present in the wastewater.
For teacher salaries, Ulrich said she’s happy to report $500 was added to the base pay. Teachers also will receive their steps.
“Everyone’s salary is increasing by $1,000 this year, unless they moved over a column on the salary schedule,” she said.
Noncertified staff will receive about a 3 percent raise, she added. Ulrich mentioned that she is the only one who will not receive a raise.
“I did not ask for a pay increase and I told the board that I would deny a pay increase for myself because I am fairly compensated,” Ulrich said.