District Approves $13.3 Million School Budget

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The Payson Unified School District Board unanimously approved a 2004-05 budget of $13,382,876 at its July 12 meeting.

The budget represents about an 8.24-percent increase over last year. The $1 million increase was made possible May 18 when voters overwhelming approved a budget override.

PUSD Business Manager Bobbette Sylvester said the budget is accounted for to the penny, "there are no excesses."

During the mandatory open hearing before the budget could be approved, Sylvester answered queries from spectators.

Patricia Weisner questioned whether classified salaries were sufficient and if the amount of money allocated to the gifted program was in line with similar budgets.

Charles Brown questioned how the budget was appropriated and administrative costs.

Sylvester defended the budget saying it was an accurate and fair one.

About Brown's question, Superintendent Herb Weissenfels said, "He had a chance to make his comments and we appreciated them."

Weekly in-services

Also at the meeting, discussion took place regarding a request from school administrators to schedule half-day in-service meetings each Thursday afternoon. Elementary school students would be released at 1 p.m. and the middle and high school students at 1:30 p.m.

The matter was tabled until the Aug. 9 meeting.

VID approved

The board approved a proposal to implement the Varied Instruction Delivery program at Rim Country Middle School.

The academic offering --hich will be open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who failed math or language arts the first semester --s scheduled to make its debut in January.

Students placed in the program would attend math or language arts each school day in two-hour blocks.

VID also would replace their mainstream math or language arts academic class.

According to RCMS principal Frank Larby, VID is modeled after the Payson Center for Success.

The board also approved an extracurricular salary schedule that includes about a 9-percent increase.

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of six employees and approved the appointment of Peggy Miles as the Julia Randall Elementary School interim principal.

According to Weissenfels, the position will be evaluated in January and the job could go to Miles on a permanent basis or be reopened.

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