By TRAVIS MORSE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — The Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education Monday adopted its fiscal year 2014 budget, which currently projects a deficit of $270,309.
“We approved it and know it’s going to be a real challenge to end up with a budget in the black, but we’re going to do our best to get there,” said Board President Carl Miller. “We were successful this past year and we hope to be this year also.”
Just prior to Monday’s regular monthly MVTHS Board meeting, a public hearing was held on the budget. No members of the public spoke at the hearing.
However, Superintendent Michael Smith did address the board during the hearing on various aspects of the budget.
Most of the blame for the deficit can be placed on declining state revenues, as school officials have worked diligently to keep expenses down, Smith said.
Smith stressed that the budget presents a “worst-case scenario” and he hopes the district will end the year in a better financial position than the projected deficit indicates.
“We hope we come in significantly better than this, but we won’t know until the end of the year,” Smith said.
Much of Monday’s meeting centered around a detailed report by MVTHS Principal Wes Olson on student test scores and the district’s progress on several of its long-term improvement goals, including attendance, student perception of safety at school, and others.
Specific figures were not discussed for all the goals. However, MVTHS recently had an average daily attendance of 93.85 percent, which nearly reaches the district’s goal of 94 percent.
Olson said he attributes the high attendance to the fact that students want to be in their classes and participate in school programs.
Other MVTHS Board actions Monday included:
n Approval of the resignation of Treasurer John Ashby.
n Approval of six new hires, including Rashod Seaton as assistant boys basketball coach, Kiley Docherty as senior class sponsor; Kim Stock as SADD sponsor, Ryan Maurer as volunteer assistant boys basketball coach, Mary Johnson as assistant FBLA sponsor, and Tom McPherson as volunteer boys bowling coach.
n Approval of several October student trips, including the Unified Soccer Tournament for the Special Olympics in Bridgeview, the FFA Livestock Judging Competition in Harrisburg, Pa., and the FCCLA Training Field Trip in Springfield.