School board delays budget approval

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The new fiscal year begins today, but the Cape Girardeau School Board has not approved a budget.

A motion to approve the budget was removed from the agenda of a regular meeting Monday because president Kyle McDonald said he preferred to have all members present. Laura Sparkman, Stacy Kinder and Steve Trautwein were absent, reportedly out of town.

The district will continue to operate off the 2007 to 2008 budget until the board approves the 2008 to 2009 budget, which could occur at a meeting later this month.

This is the second year in a row the district has failed to have an updated, board-approved budget for the beginning of the fiscal year. In the past, the board would adopt the previous year's budget and then amend it when property values were determined, usually in September. This method differs from many districts, such as Jackson, which use projections to have a working budget in place for the start of the school year.

Misty Clifton, Cape Girardeau's new director of finance, has tried to be more in line with other districts and have a budget prepared in time for the new fiscal year.

A new date for board consideration of the budget has not been set.

"Four is the quorum, but for due diligence and to be professional, I think all board members should be present," McDonald said, before the board voted to remove the motion Monday.

The board later approved bids from Earthgrains Baking Co. Inc. for bakery and bread products; Prairie Farms Dairy for milk and ice cream; and F&F Paving for asphalt repair and resurfacing at the Career and Technology Center, Alma Schrader Elementary and Franklin Elementary.

A motion to discuss renaming the Alternative Education Center to Central Academy for Alternative Learning failed. After the meeting, McDonald said the new name would remove the current stigma attached to attending the center.

But vice president Paul Nenninger said the operative word is alternative, which would remain in the name. "How does it accomplish the goal?" he said, adding that it would be difficult to assess the effect of a name change.

335-6611, extension 123

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