MARQUETTE - The Marquette school board voted unanimously to accept the administration's proposed 2012-2013 budget during its Monday meeting.
Board Trustee Rich Rossway was not in attendance at the meeting.
Deb Barry, Marquette Area Public Schools assistant superintendent for finance, presented the proposed budget to the board, which had several questions on the type of financial problems the district would face in the coming year.
Trustee Brian Cherry questioned the wisdom of adopting a budget that did not account for most of the roughly $12 million worth of capital projects the district needs to maintain its buildings, as well as using $257,380 out of the capital projects fund to help balance the budget.
Barry said the budget will likely be adjusted as new legislation from Lansing concerning public education funding is adopted.
"With the information that we have at this point, this is what we can build our assumptions on and propose to be the best budget for (20)12-13," Barry said. "Again, I can say with confidence it will be amended. We will receive further information as we go along, but this is the best estimate that we have."
The budget calls for total general fund revenues of $26.4 million and total general fund expenditures of $26.9 million. The district will continue to have $3 million in its contingency fund.
Barry said it's likely Lansing will work to reorganize current retirement plans for public school teachers, as the skyrocketing cost to districts and teachers alike is jeopardizing district bottom lines statewide.
"We're realizing that we have hit the wall. We know the state doesn't want to become emergency financial managers for all the districts across the state, so I think that's why they're looking so hard at retirement reform," Barry said.
Nancy Seminoff of Marquette imploring the board to reinstate the community schools programs, saying that the district should serve the voting public of all ages and not just children.
Carrie Biolo asked the board to use its buildings more efficiently.
In other action, the board voted to renew its memberships in the Michigan High School Athletic Association and the Michigan Association of School Boards.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.