Rapid City School Board takes new approach to balance budget - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City School Board takes new approach to balance budget

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It's no surprise the Rapid City School District faces another year of budget cuts.

But this year, Rapid City Schools Superintendent, Doctor Tim Mitchell, says the school board plans to take a new approach at how to balance its budget.

Mitchell says in the last few years the Rapid City School District has spent between 78 and 80 million dollars.

And the new approach will keep the budget right in that price range.

The School Board plans to dip into reserve funds and use close to two million dollars for the 2013 and 2014 school year.

As well shift about 1.5 million from the Capitol Building fund and use it to cover operating costs.

Mitchell says while the process to balance the budget is a completely new approach, he believes it's one that will help keep most positions and programs in place.

"The initial budget will not be based on- like it did before, projections of what we think we are going to spend it will be based upon historical spending data. And the initial budget that will come out will be right at that 78-79 level," said Mitchell.

Another hot topic Mitchell addressed was school safety.

Mitchell and the Rapid City School Board are against the Sentinel Bill that is currently in the legislature. That bill would allow teachers and administrators to carry guns.

But Mitchell says he believes there are other ways to keep kids safe in school rather than allow guns in schools.

"So I do not believe that just because we post them as gun free zones and keep weapons out of schools that we put kids in harm's way. And personally people have not convinced me yet that there is any research that says putting more guns in schools will save kids," said Mitchell.

Mitchell did address the looming Sequestration and says Rapid City Schools could lose about 500 thousand dollars in Federal funding.

Those funds would impact school programs that meet the needs of low income, minority, or disabled students.

Mitchell said by making other adjustments in the budget; those programs should be protected no matter what happens on the Federal level.

 

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