South Summit moves to tentative 2013 budget |

South Summit moves to tentative 2013 budget

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

The South Summit School District will have to take $400,000 from its reserve fund to balance its budget for the 2012-2013 school year. Fortunately, the school district had enough in its reserve fund to cover the extra expenditures, according to South Summit Business Administrator Kip Bigelow, adding that they aren’t planning on cutting any personnel at this point.

A budget hearing will be held Thursday to finalize the 2012 budget and approve a tentative 2013 budget," Bigelow said. "Most everything is in place. Revenues are going to be down just a little bit and so to balance the budget we will be using a little bit of the reserves from last year. If we don’t start generating more revenue we’ll have some major decisions in front of us in the next few years."

South Summit’s overall budget, including employee salaries and benefits is about $17 million. Classified and licensed employee negotiations are settled, according to Bigelow, who said the school board agreed to fund step and lane increases that appropriately corresponds to a 1.8 percent increase in salary depending on how many years an employee has worked for the district, and if the employee has advanced degrees. In South Summit, a newly hired licensed employee with a bachelor’s degree earns about $36,000 for a nine-month contract.

One thing Bigelow said the school district had to absorb this year is an increased cost in Social Security and the Utah State Retirement plan, which is now 27.91 percent. Bigelow said that about 25 percent of employees’ salaries go toward retirement.

"That’s a huge obligation for the district. The Utah retirement system had a 1.9 percent increase that the district is required to pay all our employees," he said, adding that this will cost the district an additional $150,000.

The cost of health insurance also increased 6.5 percent. The general fund, which the school district uses to compensate its teachers, has a little more than $11 million in expenses for the 2012-2013 school year, Bigelow said, adding that 86 percent of that goes toward employee salary and benefits.

During the school board meeting last week, Board members approved the hiring of Leticia Heredia for the Spanish dual-immersion program that will be implemented in first-grade next year. Bigelow said the goal is to add a grade each year.

The school district will also add a second full-day kindergarten class on a need-basis. Students’ pre-test scores indicated that the children would need some extra help to prepare for first grade.

The school district also plans to keep an eye on the Silver Creek Village development near Home Depot, which lies within South Summit School District boundaries. The development will include about 1,290 residential units, including single-family homes, condos, apartments, lofts, and town homes, according to Bigelow, who said they may have to build another school depending on the number of families that move into the area. Construction on Silver Creek Village is scheduled to begin this year and will take several years to complete.

"Eventually I would see that we would have to put a school over in that area, which would be a lot of added expense. We don’t have a good feel of when that school will take place, we just have to monitor what those demographics turn out to be," he said.