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  • Fairbury News staff

School board approves budget

Members of the PC Board of Education listen to a budget presentation Thursday.

The Prairie Central Board of Education approved the Fiscal Year 2020 budget during Thursday night’s regular meeting.

Total expenditures were $24,346,592 with revenues at $24,180,302. Superintendent Paula Crane said there is still a deficit but the district is doing better. She believes there is nothing remarkable about the budget and transportation should come out alright. Extra expenditures have been added for operations and maintenance.

“We’ll have a positive balance,” Crane explained.

Crane hopes the district will not have to transfer anything out of working cash as some of the funds could be used for future projects.

During her superintendent report, Crane reported on Fiscal Year 20 evidence-based funding statistics. Prairie Central was at a 71 percent adequacy level last year and that number is 74 percent this year. The legislature did pass a bill to put more money into education last year. A large percentage of state districts are still below 90 percent adequacy.

A potential replacement to the aging football field bleachers was discussed by the board. Crane said wooden planks which broke have all been replaced and reinforced. New bleachers would likely be aluminum with solid stairs, a pre-fabricated press box, ramps and handicapped accessibility. The home bleacher project could total $382,500 with $112,500 added to that price for an optional concrete slab.

This is just a proposal to give district leaders an idea of what it would cost for the project. The issue will be discussed further.

Enrollment data was also shared with the board at Thursday’s meeting. Numbers are down again but only by 43 this year. The Kindergarten class is a large one at 141 and the first grade class is sandwiched between two decent sized groups. Part of the drop in the past couple of years was due to smaller pre-K classes, according to Crane.

In other action, the Prairie Central Board of Education:

-Purchased a 2016 activity bus pending mechanical and safety tests.

-Approved Aug. 15 meeting minutes.

-Authorized the consent agenda, which includes the activity fund, bills, café report and treasurer’s report.

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