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Plum board approves $56M budget

| Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 11:12 p.m.

The Plum School Board approved a $56 million budget on Tuesday for the 2013-14 school year that includes furloughing three teachers and a guidance counselor.

The vote was 6-3 with school directors Tom McGough, Shane McMasters and Loretta White dissenting.

The spending plan projects revenue of $55,863,571 and expenditures of $56,813,993. The board agreed to take $950,422 from the district's reserve fund to balance the budget. A tax increase is expected to raise another $460,068 in revenue.

Business Manager Eugene Marraccini said the fund balance is expected to contain about $1.1 million at the end of the 2013-14 school year. The board also voted to reduce the millage from 22.2 to 18.758.

The spending plan eliminates the family and consumer sciences program at the high school. Three teachers from the program will be laid off.

A preliminary budget called for 21 staff cuts and the elimination of a host of electives.

McMasters said he voted against the budget because he couldn't support taking nearly $1 million from the district's reserve fund to balance the budget.

“It is irresponsible,” McMasters said. “It means next year there will be a referendum for a large tax increase. It likely won't pass. There will be budget cuts, teacher furloughs and program cuts. Do I want to see massive cuts, no. But it may be the answer.”

McGough and White said they didn't support cutting the family and consumer sciences program and the tax increase.

Board member John St. Leger said he is disappointed all the positions were not restored but decided to support the spending plan.

“We need a budget to get school going for the next year,” St. Leger said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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