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District 196 School Board Approves Reduced Budget, More General Expenses for 2011-12

The district will use $4.4 million in fund balance to fill the hole that remains in its operating budget for 2011-12.

The unanimously passed its 2011-12 final budget at its Monday meeting at , with all funds totaling almost $348 million.

The total budget includes building construction, special education, food service, debt service and a few other smaller funds, and the general fund, which at almost $297 million represents 85 percent of the district's expenses.

Last year's total budget was more than $352 million, and the general fund expenditures were budgeted at more than $299 million.

In turn, about 83 percent of the general fund expenses—almost $247 million—go to salaries and benefits, 8 percent goes to purchased services and 4 percent is reserved for supplies and materials. 

General fund revenue for 2011-12, the budget shows, is a little more than $292 million, 73 percent of which—$213 million—comes from state aid.

Last year's general fund revenues were a little more than $291 million.

The final budget is an improvement over what the board and administration —a 3.5 percent decrease in state funding—in part because the district will get 1 percent more in revenue from the state, district Director of Finance and Operations Jeff Solomon said Monday.

But the district will use $4.4 million in fund balance to fill the projected hole that still remained in its operating budget.

Many other factors during the past year contributed to the state of the final budget, including layoffs, one-time funding, forgoing a tax levy referendum and projections for future budgets.

Apple Valley Patch will have more on these details and the final budget.

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