School board members will vote to approve the budget at their July 28 work session.
The board will not raise its property tax rate, often referred to as a millage rate.
That means property owners in Catoosa won’t be paying more in taxes to help fund the school system, assistant superintendent Kim Nichols said.
Public hearings will not be required for the new budget.
The board had the choice to increase the rate by about 0.51%, but did not.
“The Board of Education and I understand that many families are struggling in this economy,” school superintendent Denia Reese said. “And we did not want to add to the burden by increasing taxes.”
For the last several years, there has been an austerity reduction in funding to the school systems. This means a reduction in national funds. This year there will be an austerity reduction of $4.9 million. However, the system will receive $3 million in federal stabilization funds to keep jobs in the system and $1.5 million in federal stimulus funds to expand federal services such as special education.
Nichols said that although the 2008-09 year was “challenging,” budget year 2009-10 will begin in a “good position.” The budget year runs from July 2009 through June 2010.
Nichols said the system does not plan to cut any programs during the current budget year and that the only time programs are cut is when there are not enough students eligible to participate.
A new program implemented by the system is a credit recovery program to help more students graduate. Nichols said this is an example of how the system has combined multiple fund sources to pursue a project, including special education and federal funds.
Nichols said 90% of the budget is for personnel expenses, such as salaries. The school system has about 2,000 employees.