Eureka Springs board approves 2017-18 budget

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Eureka Springs School Board voted at its Tuesday meeting to approve the school district’s 2017-18 budget.

Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said the district is looking at a projected balance of about $8 million.

“We underbudget our revenue and overbudget our expenses,” he said. “We’re looking next year at a projected balance of about $8 million, so we’re keeping our funds healthy.”

The board also voted to approve the 2016-17 annual financial report. Pruitt said the report details the district’s monthly transactions and will be sent to the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).

The board voted to approve a request for an out-of-state band trip from band and choir teacher Barry Milner.

Milner said he is looking into taking about 30 band students to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. It would cost about $763 per student, he said, covering the costs of three nights at a hotel, two breakfasts, three meal vouchers for the three days at the parks, entrance to the parks and transit between the parks.

“This is a huge recruitment thing for us,” Milner said. “When you talk about band trips and kids being able to perform at Walt Disney World their eyes just sort of light up. It costs a lot of money to be able to do these things, but the tradeoff is the kids get to perform and make memories on these kinds of trips.”

The trip would take place over spring break, he said, and the band program would do a big trip only once every four years.

Board president Chris McClung asked if the band program would be holding fundraisers to help cover the expenses. Milner said they would and that local organizations have helped them cover the cost in the past.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to approve the Statement of Assurances for Programs, the Minority Teacher and Administrator Recruitment Plan and student transfers.

The board voted to amend the 2017-18 Miscellaneous Duties Schedule to pay gatekeepers and scorekeepers $20 per game.

Pruitt said the board had initially decided to change the rate of pay to $20 per hour, but that became a problem since some games can run for three hours.

“It turned out to be quite costly. I talked to the ballgame workers, and they understood that and thought $20 per game was fair,” he said. “We are fortunate that we do pay our staff members for keeping books, the gates and the clock. It’s nice because our coaches and athletic directors don’t have to go around begging people to work those events.”

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the district administration building.

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