Schools face decrease in revenues

Tucumcari schools will be operating with about $400,000 less for the 2013-2014 school year, according to budget documents.

The decrease in revenues represents about 3 percent of 2012-2013 revenues that totaled $13.7 million.

The amount of revenues budgeted for 2013-2014 is about $13.3 million.

The total revenue is expected to decline even as operational revenues, most from state tax funds under the State Equalization Guarantee, are expected to increase to about $8.8 million from $8.5 million in 2012-2013. That's an increase of about $316,000 dollars, or 4 percent, over the 2012-2013 operational revenue figure.

Most of the revenue decreases result from cuts in federal funds for programs whose budgets have been reduced in New Mexico due to a variety of factors, Tucumcari Public Schools Business Manager Leola Patterson said. These funds have been cut by 10 percent in the 2013-2014 budget, compared with the 2012-2013 statement, she said.

Among other things, the cuts will affect diagnostic health services for some students, some supply budgets (not instruction supplies, which can expect budget increases), some special education entitlement spending, and training programs for teachers and other employees, budget documents show.

For school employees, there is good and bad news in the 2013-2014 budget, Patterson said.

The good news is raises for all at a minimum of 1 percent for the year, compared to the 2012-2013 term. The bad news is that most of the raises will go to cover employees' share of health insurance costs, which are rising substantially in 2013-2014, she said.

Budget documents show that teacher pay is expected to rise by about $143,000 or 4 percent, from about $3.5 million to approximately $3.6 million overall from the 2012-2013 school year to the 2013-2014 term.

Health and medical premiums, however, are expected to rise by $220,600 or about 54 percent, from about $408,800 for 2012-2013 to $629,400 for 2013-2014.

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