Opinions 

6/12/2003

Coffman pleased with St. Vrain Valley’s progress on budget

By John Fryar
The Daily Times-Call

DENVER — In approving the St. Vrain Valley School District’s 2003-04 budget proposal, state Treasurer Mike Coffman said Wednesday the district “is moving forward” in addressing its budget problems.

“I am pleased that the new budget is well within the guidelines of the financial-recovery plan we agreed upon last winter,” said Coffman, who had to sign off on St. Vrain’s spending package for the coming fiscal year as a condition of the plan.

Coffman noted Wednesday that the school district’s 2003-04 budget proposal maintains teacher and administrator salaries at current levels, provides for retaining the current teacher-student ratio and reduces administrative costs by nearly 35 percent.

The district also has proposed an additional 5 percent reduction in nonsalary operating budgets for all its departments.

“I’m happy that St. Vrain is moving forward and aggressively acting to restore its financial solvency,” Coffman said in a statement. “If the district successfully implements this budget, it will be well on the road to restoring the confidence of the families and taxpayers of the district.”

Coffman said that under the financial-recovery plan, he had expected St. Vrain to cut $2.225 million from its budget. In the budget St. Vrain has submitted for 2003-04, however, the school district went even further and cut $2.237 million, he said.

Coffman said the budget will also completely restore the reserve account required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

The district agreed to Coffman’s plan last winter after discovering that its budget shortfall for the current 2002-03 fiscal year threatened to amount to $13.8 million. Coffman was able to require the plan because St. Vrain already had borrowed millions of dollars from the state’s interest-free loan program and needed additional money to make it through the winter months.

 

 
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