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PHS Board hears 2013 audit

PRINCETON — The Princeton High School Board has reviewed district finances for the previous fiscal year and adopted a budget for the new fiscal year.

At Wednesday’s PHS Board meeting, Hopkins and Associates representative Kim Baum presented the Fiscal Year 2013 audit, saying overall revenue for the year was down by about $200,000 from the previous year. According to summary sheets presented to the board on the 44-page audit, property tax revenue for PHS was down about $90,000 compared to the previous year. State aide and grants were down by about $100,000.

Looking at the education fund, which is the largest fund of the budget, Baum said this year’s expenses were fairly consistent with the prior year, up only by about $30,000.

The average daily attendance for PHS, on which general state aid is based, shows a declining average daily attendance for the past four years, Baum said. According to the information presented by Baum, PHS had an average daily attendance of 586 students in 2010; 572 students in 2011; 535 students in 2012; and 496 students in 2013.

The auditor’s chart also showed expenditures per pupil have increased in each of those four years, from $10,587 in 2010, up to $12,572 in 2013. The tax levy rate has remained fairly consistent, from 2.09 in the 2010-12 years to 2.08 in 2013, Baum said.

After the audit presentation and approval, the board turned its attention to the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and adopted the budget as presented and reviewed in August. No one from the public attended the budget hearing held prior to Wednesday’s regular meeting.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the FY ‘14 budget shows about a $2.1 million deficit in all funds. The deficit will be offset by reserves by $1.525 million in bonds issued last year. That budget is a worst-case scenario, Superintendent Kirk Haring said.

In other business at Wednesday’s meeting, Principal Andy Berlinski presented the ACT scores recently received for the 2013 school year.

In showing a chart on the last five years of ACT scores, Berlinski said this year’s scores are misleading because for the first time, the special education scores are included in the final scores. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, he said.

Looking at the 2012 year, Berlinski said the ACT scores did go down slightly this year, except in science — even the scores which did not include the special education population. The overall composite score for 2012 was at 22.6 for the 2012 year and at22.7 for the 2013 year excluding the special education population. It was 21.1 with special education population, he said.

Looking at the past five years, Berlinski said there are increases in several areas, and the scores are still very good. The PHS students and staff are to be commended for their hard work in preparing for the tests.

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