- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—A new elementary school and the staffing and operation of a new career and technical education center are two of the biggest changes to the Aberdeen School District budget.

There was a public hearing for the 2015-16 budget at the Aberdeen Public Board of Education’s regular meeting on Monday at the District Service Center.

Prior to holding its meeting at the regularly scheduled tour, board members toured the A-TEC Academy on the Central High School campus. While construction is complete, most, but not all, equipment has been moved over from the Hub Area Technical School, and teachers have not had a chance to set up their classrooms. All of the A-TEC teachers have been at a conference in Watertown early this week.

The Hub Area Technical School was a multi-district school housed in Aberdeen and run by a joint board with smaller districts. Previously, the Aberdeen School District paid its share of the operating budget of Hub Area Tech. With the new A-TEC Academy, all teachers are employees of the Aberdeen School District.

“All the employees of Hub Area Tech are now going to be charged to the Aberdeen School District general fund,” said Tom Janish, finance director. “That will increase the budget by $480,000.”

But the district will no longer be paying into the Hub Area Tech school and it will be receiving some federal funding that was previously going to Hub Area Tech, Janish said.

“We actually save money,” Janish said. It wasn’t much, but it was a little less than before.

Meanwhile, the district is budgeting $7.8 million in capital projects for the new elementary school to be created from the Coventry Building at 3010 Milwaukee Ave. N.E.

The total expected expenditures for the 2015-16 school year are $50.5 million, while total expected revenues are slightly less than that, Janish said.

“I think we need to be cautious with our general fund because I suspect next year it’ll take more of a hit,” board president Brad Olson said, adding that the running of another school will add significant expenses to the 2016-17 budget.

“We never spend 100 percent of our budget,” Janish said. “We’re always at 99 percent — 1 percent doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a quarter of a million dollars.”

The budget for the 2014-15 school year was about 97 percent of planned expenditures — there was a $444,167 deficit planned for the year, and it ended with a $278,268 surplus.

Bullying policy

In other news, the board unanimously passed the first reading of revisions to the bullying policy through the district. For harassment to be considered bullying, it must be persistent. Non-persistent incidents fall under other district policies. The report form was edited to remove a checklist of behaviors and instead asks the reporting party to describe the incident.

The board also unanimously passed an update to the cyber bullying policy, creating a new cyberbullying report form.

A second reading will take place at the board’s Aug. 10 meeting.

Follow @kgrandstrandAANon Twitter.

Ceremony slated

The A-TEC ribbon cutting with Gov. Dennis Daugaard will be 1 p.m. Sept. 1 at the A-TEC Academy, Central High School, 2200 S. Roosevelt St.

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(c)2015 the American News (Aberdeen, S.D.)

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