Edmond school officials receive brighter outline for budget

Edmond school officials say federal stimulus dollars have helped, and budgets are now getting back to normal.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: October 6, 2011

— A booming student population, increases in benefits to staff and dried-up stimulus dollars did little to tarnish the positive financial outlook for the Edmond School District, officials said.

In fact, the budget information presented to school board members for the 2011-12 year wasn't “doom and gloom,” said David Fraser, chief financial officer for the Edmond district.

Fraser earlier this week presented a districtwide budget of $134 million, up from $130 million the previous school year.

School board members are expected to vote on the budget at their Nov. 7 meeting.

Fraser said the district has made significant cuts over the past three years. This is first year further cuts aren't anticipated, even though federal stimulus dollars are used up.

More than $20 million in federal stimulus has been spent since 2008, primarily on personnel costs. District officials prepared ahead of time for the money to run out, Fraser said.

“We saved local dollars, spent federal dollars and built our fund balance up to absorb costs,” he said. “I can't imagine where our school would be without the federal dollars in terms of personnel and programs.”

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