The Mitchell Board of Education discussed Tuesday the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budgets for the Mitchell School District and Mitchell Technical Institute.

The proposed budgets indicate that the district will be spending significantly less on capital projects than in the previous year, while MTI will be spending $1.1 million more.

The board will approve the final budget, taking taxes and levies into consideration, at an upcoming meeting.

The Mitchell School District's general fund is up 4.1 percent over 2019's, but capital outlay funding will decrease by 19.4 percent, as last year's budget included the expenses of new turf on Joe Quintal Field.

The district is allocating $291,998 from the reserve to balance the year's budget, though Business Manager Steve Culhane said the district never ends up needing the entire amount listed to meet the year's needs.

At $14,253,115.05, MTI's Fund 23, which funds most of the school's expenses, is more than $1 million higher than in the previous two fiscal years. Much of the additional revenue needed for the budget will come from increases in tuition from the state.

"Those revenues will offset the same dollar amount the expenses go through," MTI's Chief Financial Officer Jared Hofer said. "The biggest highlight this year in our expenses for this year's operations is that we do have a number of capital projects going on."

Hofer said the $1.1 million allocated for capital projects includes larger ongoing projects, such as the expansion of MTI's stage and Oak Room and relocation of an information systems technology classroom closer to the server room used by the school's IT department, as well as repainting, replacing carpets and other general upkeep. $250,000 will go toward fixing damage to parking lots resulting from weather.

Other business

In other matters, the board:

  • Approved upon second reading a board policy that prohibits Mitchell School District employees from assisting another employee in finding a new job if they know that employee engaged in sexual misconduct. The policy is legally required to be implemented under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, but the board opted to expand the policy to include employees engaged in sexual misconduct against other employees, rather than only against students.
  • Approved activity fees for the 2019-20 school year. Fees will remain the same as for the previous school year: $3 per event for students, $5 per event for adults and $40 for a student annual pass.
  • Declared a 1999 Chevy Passenger van and five lighting pallets, both of which were previously used by MTI, as surplus.
  • Approved K-12 and MTI supplemental budgets for the 2018-19 school year, including $90,000 in insurance money that was used to replace technology damaged when Mitchell Middle School was struck by lightning this spring.
  • Heard board member and superintendent reports.