hile the final approval has not been given yet for the 2005-2006 school year, the Platte County R-3 School Board is considering a nearly $2 million budget increase over last year.
According to Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst, the board was presented a tentative budget at last Thursday’s meeting.
“I presented the board with a tentative budget that is 85 to 95 percent ready to go for next year,” said Harpst.
“We’ve seen a large increase in expenditures. We’ve had to add 14 new positions, we’re starting up a new middle school, and the general expenditures go up each year.”
The steady increase of enrollment at R-3 each year makes a financial impact in many aspects of the district.
“There are just general costs for operations, plus we’re adding more kids, which means more textbooks, more teachers and more space,” stated Harpst.
Enrollment figures for the school district in January of 2005, showed 2,546 students attending Platte County R-3. Harpst said over the past few years the district has experienced a growth of 125-150 students per year.
According to Harpst, as of Thursday’s meeting the board is looking at approving a $22 million budget for the operation costs of the school district.
Board members tentatively approved the $22 million operation budget at Thursday’s meeting. Harpst is hoping to having a more finalized budget put before the board at their August meeting.
In the building projects update, the contractors reported that the middle school project is on schedule and will be ready to be moved into by the middle of July.
Board members received a tour of the new middle school facility prior to Thursday’s meeting.
“It’s getting closer every day and everyone is excited,” said Harpst. “It’s really starting to take shape.”
Harpst also stated that the high school renovations have received a nice start and also remain on schedule.
The board also received an update on the district-wide capital improvements such as lighting, construction of the concession stand, the turf and asphalt projects and the Barry School project.
“The outside projects have been delayed a little bit by the weather but are going as fast as they can,” said Harpst. Harpst stated that all of the outside projects are still within deadlines.
The school board also approved technology bids for the district next year. Dell was awarded the computer bid for 118 desktops, three laptops and 125 pieces of software for $121,009. MTC was awarded the bid for five laser printers for $6,633.