Valpo schools adjust budget for year-end accounting
By Diane Kubiak Post-Tribune correspondent December 13, 2012 10:04PM
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:31AM
VALPARAISO — Thursday’s public hearing on the Valparaiso Community Schools end-of-year budget adjustments revealed some of the difficulties peculiar to 2012.
The board approved the reduction of nearly $2 million in four funds and an additional appropriation in the general fund of $947,000.
An appropriation is permission to spend and the additional appropriation for the general fund will go primarily for the 2012 budget for the full-day kindergarten program. In 2011, when the budget was first approved for 2012, full-day kindergarten had not been approved by the board, chief financial officer Sharon Qualkenbush said. State funding for the program cannot be spent without a budget appropriation.
Qualkenbush said the budget reductions in the other funds were necessary. If the budgeted amount is not reduced at the end of the year, it will appear to have been spent, she said. “It would hurt us on our 2013 budget,” she said.
The pension debt fund was reduced by $240,192 to a revised final approved appropriation of $1,387,259. The reduction reflects a savings due to bond refinancing, Qualkenbush said.
Both the capital projects fund and the transportation fund saw reductions necessitated by the effect of the state’s new circuit breaker on local property taxes. A tax break for owners of larger homes, the law had an unintended consequence for the school district and other units of government.
The capital projects fund was reduced by $470,500 to a revised final approved appropriation of $4,300,061; the transportation fund was reduced by $928,137 to a revised final approved appropriation of $2,769,543.
The bus replacement fund was reduced by $346,150 to a revised final approved appropriation of $400,400 as the state mandated that schools replace their buses on a 12-year plan instead of the former 10-year plan.
The special meeting was necessary so that the Department of Local Government Finance could receive the budget adjustments by Dec. 15.
The regular meeting of the board is at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Administration Building .