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JCPS considers $79 million budget

Jefferson City’s Public Schools will operate with a $79 million budget for the 2011-12 school year that begins July 1.

That’s about a 2 percent increase over the current year’s budget, while revenues are down about 1.1 percent from this year, including a $1.7 million drop in state aid.

The district’s largest expense is salaries — almost $51 million, or 64.5 percent of the budget for the 2011-12 school year.

That includes an average 2.8 percent raise for all employees and the hiring of eight more teachers — four elementary and four at the high school.

“We’re expecting 100 more students this year,” Superintendent Brian Mitchell said.

Another 18.7 percent of the budget goes to employee benefits — an area that’s been growing because of increasing insurance and retirement costs.

Chief Financial Officer Jason Hoffman said the budget is based, conservatively, on the same $1.19 billion in assessed property values from Cole and Callaway counties as this year.

The school district has to approve its budget by the end of June, but the counties’ assessed value predictions don’t have to be reported until mid-July. Cole County’s current estimate is for no growth.

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