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School district approves budget

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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The Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board approved a $7.65 million budget last week to cover expenses for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The district is looking at raising property taxes in the district to meet the needs of the spending plan, though no numbers have yet been finalized.

The budget is around 1 percent less than the total approved for the previous year.

"Our tax base went down," said Steve Hicks, business manager for the district.

The current tax rate for property owners in the district is just under 4.4 percent, based on the assessed value of property in the district.

The current budget calls for just over a 4.7 percent tax rate, Hicks said, but added the number will likely be lower once everything is finalized and adjusted.

"We have to submit our final numbers to the county by [Tuesday,] July 29," Hicks said. "It most likely won't be that number once everything is adjusted."

The budget includes $3.5 million for classroom instruction, also down from last year.

It also includes $385,641 in capital outlay projects, a decrease of more than 41 percent over last year.

The proposed funds available for structured English immersion for students has also decreased by almost two-thirds, with just over $35,000 set aside.

The board is projecting spending $657,500 on transportation, an 8.1 percent decrease over the previous year.

The district is expecting a bit more money from the state, at least based on the number of students in daily attendance.

The state sets limits on how much a district can spend.

Many districts like Camp Verde depend on the voters approving a budget override, a mechanism that allows districts to spend beyond state government-imposed limits.

The board also approved a $493,000 budget for the operation of South Verde Technology Magnet School, also known as South Verde High School.

The district operates the downtown Main Street school as a charter school.

That figure represents a 10.4 percent decrease over the previous year's budget.

The budget for South Verde includes just under $232,600 for classroom instruction, a 21.3 percent decrease compared with the previous fiscal year.

In other business, the board also held a welcome event for Sara Marcum, the new principal at Camp Verde Elementary School.

Marcum takes over from retiring principal Debi Pottorff and has worked for years in education in the Phoenix area.

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Original Publication Date: July 16, 2014

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