On Thursday night, the Shelbyville Unit 4 school board approved a $13.6 million budget for fiscal year 2020.

The board projects, but does not anticipate a $552,681 deficit for the year. Last year, they projected a $1 million deficit, planning for the worst, but ended in the black.

“The district ended the last fiscal year with a positive balance of $146,379.62,” said Superintendent Shane Schuricht. “This year’s budget includes a $552,681 deficit. Deficit spending in education and transportation will still leave the district above the established July 2016 balances.”

In 2016, the district had a balance of $3.6 million. The board decided that would be their target for a balance to carry forward each year in education, $2.3 million in O & M and $946,423.16 in transportation.

“The O & M fund budget will put us at about $21,000 below the established July 2016 balance,” Schuricht continued. “By comparison, the 2019 budget projected $1.1 million deficit, but the district ended the fiscal year with a positive balance of $146,379.62.”

It may not be sexy, but the other big announcement at the board meeting was receiving the E-Rate Grant from the State in late August.

Schuricht explained that every year the district applies for a grant through the E-Rate program for State aid in internet projects.

“We have to to stay up-to-date with changes in technology,” Schuricht said. “We need more efficiency in our infrastructute, like fiber optics, Wi-Fi, switches and access points.”

If the district doesn’t stay current their internet efficiency falls behind. Without participating in the lengthy E-Rate Program grants process, the district would lose out on all the financial help with their internet needs. Schuricht says they apply for a grant for a different project every year.

“It’s about a 9 month process,” Schuricht said. “This one started probably back in November of 2018. This year it is a $116,000 project and we get 70% back from the State, roughly $81,000.”

In other business, the district approved a leas agreement with the First United Methodist Church, next door to Main Street Elementary School, for their building use for the district’s Pre-K program.

The district also approved a couple assistant coaches for the spring. Ryan Brown was approved as the assistant track coach and Silas Pogue was approved as the junior varsity baseball coach.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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