On the last day of school for students, the Kanawha County Board of Education was already looking ahead to next year: by unanimous vote Thursday, it approved the school system's operating budget for 2012-13.
In a very brief meeting, school board members voted over the phone to accept the nearly $238 million budget. There was no discussion Thursday, but the board has met on several different occasions in the last few months and talked about the details of the budget.
In those previous meetings, school officials have expressed concerns about receiving $500,000 less in Medicaid revenue and increases in expenses related to wages and health insurance. The school system is still able to balance its budget, but Superintendent Ron Duerring said the county coffers are stretched.
"With all the reductions in funding, it's going to be very tight," Duerring said. "We're going to have to make every penny count."
The 2012-13 budget is only roughly $32,000 more than the current budget. Treasurer Harry Reustle previously told the Daily Mail it's one of the smallest revenue increases he could remember during his 20-year tenure.
Salaries and benefits make up more than $200 million of the budget. Maintenance, energy costs, supplies and similar expenditures are expected to run about $32.5 million.
A little more than 40 percent of the school system's revenue will come from the regular and excess levy. The majority of revenue -- $136 million -- comes via state aid.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.