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TMCNet:  AEA board OKs budget, crosses fingers hoping for state aid [Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa :: ]

[February 07, 2014]

AEA board OKs budget, crosses fingers hoping for state aid [Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa :: ]

(Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 07--CEDAR FALLS -- Area Education Agency 267 officials are hoping a little more than $2 million in state aid cuts will be restored even as the board of directors on Wednesday approved the 2014-15 budget.


The $58.27 million spending plan reflects the restored cuts, which happened over more than a decade. The Legislature hasn't taken any action to increase the funding yet, however.

The budget represents a 5.93 percent increase over the $55.01 million re-estimated budget for the current year.

State foundation aid is set at $14.82 million in the budget, an increase of $2.64 million from the current year. A 4 percent boost in allowable growth and increased funding due to higher enrollment also contribute to the larger budget.

The allowable growth increase, a mix of state aid and property taxes, was approved last year by the Legislature for 2014-15. The 57 public school districts that receive the agency's special education, technology and teacher support services have seen their enrollment rise overall.

Juvenile home funding and other state revenues are estimated at $4.67 million. Federal funding is estimated at $16.28 million.

The budget also includes $12.19 million in property tax revenues, a 3.5 percent increase from the current year. Both state aid and property taxes flow to the agency through the school districts it serves.

Remaining revenues include $10.31 million in tuition and transportation funding, earnings on investments and contracts to operate special education instructional programs.

In other business, the board approved: -- The purchase of two 2014 Ford Econoline E-250 media vans for $43,114 from Dick Witham Ford of Waterloo, the lowest of two bids. The state bid totaled $44,415 and included a delivery charge.

-- A three-year contract with Perspective Consulting Partners of Urbandale to help the agency secure competitive insurance rates. AEA 267 spokeswoman Beth Strike said six bids were received and officials interviewed two companies. Perspective Consulting had the lowest bid at $32,000 annually. Group Benefits Design of Waterloo bid $39,000.

___ (c)2014 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) Visit Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) at www.wcfcourier.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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