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Sun, Nov. 17

HUSD Governing Board gives initial approval to $33.9 million budget

The Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board this past week approved a proposed $33.9 million budget for fiscal year 2010-11.

The budget includes $30.4 million for maintenance and operations; $2.9 million for unrestricted capital; and $533,531 for soft capital.

"This has been an interesting budget year," Finance Director Cynthia Windham said.

The district, she said, projected a shortfall because of declining enrollment and the loss of all-day kindergarten money from the state.

"The soft capital fund has been in danger for a couple of years. The district froze soft capital expenditures. Spending was reduced to bare-bones," Windham said.

The finance director said the state decreased soft capital by 80 percent, reducing HUSD's soft capital allocation from $1.3 million to $191,000. Districts use soft capital to pay for classroom items such as textbooks and computers. Districts also use soft capital to pay for site licenses, copier leases and bus payments.

"If there is insufficient money in soft capital, we would look at unrestricted capital," Windham said. HUSD's unrestricted capital budget is $2.9 million.

She budgeted the maximum carry forward amount allowable, 4 percent of the total budget, $1.2 million. Windham said she included the maximum amount because once the school board approves the proposed budget it cannot increase the total amount.

School districts receive money from the state according to the previous year's 100-day average daily membership.

"We still do not have an accurate 100-day ADM from the Department of Education," Windham said.

According to Windham, state officials told school districts to use the district's ADM numbers.

HUSD's 100-day ADM for the 2009-10 school year is 5,830 students.

The HUSD Governing Board will approve the final 2010-11 budget July 13.

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