The Utica Community Schools Board of Education unanimously adopted a $267.7 million budget Monday that focuses on redirecting resources toward the classroom.
The 2012-2013 budget adopted by the Board of Education contains the following significant changes
- Programming for All Day Kindergarten for every Utica Community Schools student and changes necessary for the implementation of Common Core Curriculum.
- The conversion of classroom materials to digital sources, including the purchase of digital textbooks and support materials. The Board of Education recently approved a contract that provides automotive technology students access to e-books that can be accessed at any time to support classroom instruction. Schools and the district have also moved to a greater reliance on e-news and web-based systems to communicate with parents on important topics.
- A “hard cap” for employee insurance that ensures district compliance with Public Act 152 adopted by state lawmakers, which results in a $1 million savings per year in health care costs.
- Contracting of all Grounds, Warehouse and Custodial operations for a reduction in support costs by $2.4 million.
- The district’s negotiated multi-year agreements with food service and transportation employees that include cost containment and cost savings measures. Negotiations are continuing with other employee groups.
Although the district’s projected foundation allowance is $7,337 – a level that remains lower than what was received in the 2005-06 school year – UCS continues to focus the resources available on student instruction. More than 70 percent of all operating expenditures are earmarked for classroom instruction. UCS ranks in the top 25 percent of all Michigan districts in instructional spending.
In adopting the budget, district officials also noted that there will be further guidance from the Michigan Department of Education on best practices. In addition, retirement reform being considered by state lawmakers may impact the budget. Any future adjustments must be presented to the Board of Education for approval.
More information on the district’s budget is available on the UCS Web site at http://www.uticak12.org.