June 23, 2004
The Mesa Unified School District governing board unanimously authorized a proposed $500.6 million budget Tuesday for fiscal 2004-05.
If passed, the budget would be the district’s first to top $500 million. The fiscal 2003-04 budget was $483.6 million.
The $17 million increase would come despite enrollment leveling off at 75,000 students.
"We’ve grown out, and we’re pretty much a stable district at this point," said George Zeigler, an accountant for the district and director of financial services.
Zeigler said the budget increase would be made possible by a 2 percent hike in inflation funding from the state and other factors, such as increases in federal and state grants. Zeigler said fiscal 2004-05 is only the third time since 1990 that state lawmakers have fully funded for inflation.
The bulk of the budget, about 71 percent, would be for employee salaries.
The board will consider adopting the budget at its meeting July 6 at 549 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa.
Also Tuesday, the board studied the possibility of asking voters to extend a budget override that passed in 2000 and would begin to phase out in 2005. The board would not need to reach a decision on seeking a new override until about October, and the issue would not go to voters until spring 2005.