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CEDAR FALLS -- Central Rivers Area Education Agency's board of directors Wednesday approved a $53.85 million budget.

The 2019-20 spending plan, which goes into effect July 1, represents a 2.56 percent increase over the $52.51 million budget for the current year. State supplemental aid amounts have not yet been determined, so it includes no increase in that area. The budget, which had to be submitted to the Department of Education by Sunday, would be adjusted once that is determined.

Spokeswoman Beth Strike said officials typically take a conservative approach and set the increase at zero.

"It's really hard to know where that ends up each year," she explained. "Although the governor is proposing 2.3 (percent), we don't know where that's going to end up."

State aid is set at $15.55 million while juvenile home funding and other state revenues are estimated at $4.64 million. Property tax revenues are estimated at $12.87 million. Both state aid and property tax funding are based on enrollment levels and flow to the agency through the schools districts it serves in northeast and north central Iowa.

Federal funding in the budget is estimated at $17.28 million. Tuition and transportation, earnings on investments and other revenues from local sources total $6.28 million.

On the expenditure side, $8.33 million is estimated for classroom instruction. Student and staff support services are estimated at $34.44 million. Another $7.14 million is budgeted for general, building and central administration.

Debt service of $475,343 is the annual payment for the agency's lease purchase of its headquarters building. Remaining line items for purchasing, plant operations, student transportation, noninstructional programs, facilities acquisition and construction, and other support services come to $3.46 million. 

The board also approved seeking bids for fire alarm upgrades at the agency's Marshalltown and Clear Lake facilities after receiving authorization for the capital improvements from the state. Estimated cost for the upgrades is $62,000.

While the current fire alarms pass inspections, Strike said fire inspectors "would like to see a more enhanced fire alarm system. We're moving ahead now at this time to get it completed."

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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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