School District Begins Budget Process

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Payson Unified School District Board members began the process of district budget discussions for FY 2000-2001 Monday night.


District Business Manager Bobette Sylvester said that 1999 was the first year the State Legislature agreed to have a two-year program.


"Now we can project the budget sooner," she said.


Sylvester explained how the first 100-day average enrollment is multiplied by a monetary amount approved by the Legislature.


In the coming weeks, the school board will look at additional staffing requests of $975,000. The board members will take site walks to consider capital requests and will look at salary and wage schedules.


On March 13, they'll review the projected revenues.


The average student enrollment of nearly 2,808 increased by only 1.6 percent over the 1998-1999 average for the first 100 days.


"Our trends just jumped and leaped and bounded until the last two years," Sylvester said.


Revenues in 1998-1999 totaled $16,153,448 with nearly $6.5 million coming from the state.


School Superintendent Herb Weissenfels said the Superintendent's Advisory Council, made up of certified and classified school personnel, will get more information to involve them with the budget process this year.


In other business at the board meeting, Ken Macnab presented the board with a document describing a program for the district's gifted and talented students.


"The document allows us to do a lot of wonderful things," Macnab said. "But how do we logistically take the child that's ready to do high school algebra. It's board approved, but how does it become a reality for our kids? We're figuring out what we can do as opposed to what we cannot."


The document is based on the gifted education handbook of 15 years ago. "It's just been tweaked here and there," Macnab said. It was submitted to the Payson School Board in 1998.


The school board also heard a briefing on joint vocational education programs from Dr A. Keith Crandall, superintendent of Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology in Show Low.


The board members agreed to look into the program that would provide additional state funding to the district. Crandall told the board that the program would require voters' approval of about a $5 a year secondary tax.


"It took eight years to form a district in Show Low," Crandall said. "I'm totally committed to telling people about this. It must be two high school districts, but Payson could join an existing district."

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