Addition of 11th grade accounts for budget hike for KAL

The addition of an 11th grade with roughly 60 students will be the major part a budget increase of $424,179 for fiscal 2004 for Kingman Academy of Learning.

The budget for fiscal 2004, adopted by the district governing board Monday, is for $6,016,912.

The fiscal 2003 budget was $5,592,733.

The new fiscal year began Tuesday.

Brownie Hamlyn, business manager for KAL, said $347,000 of the increase can be attributed to adding the 11th grade as the charter school district tries to begin a full-fledged high school by the 2004-2005 school year.

Additional special education pupils and related services account for the rest of the increase.

In looking at individual components of the budget, Hamlyn estimated a 39 percent jump in the cost for support services, which includes instructional and administrative staff.

"We're anticipating added expenses there," she said.

"That may not be true, but we're pledging extra money now."

Hamlyn said she used her "best guess" in estimating spending for areas such as operation of nonstructural services, and facilities acquisition and construction services.

Those two categories will drop to zero this year after being a combined $43,000 last year.

The state Department of Education allows budgets to be revised during the year, which is when those two areas would reflect expenses, she said.

Special education program funding will go from $473,275 last year to $529,300 this year.

"We're adding a special education teacher at our high school, additional hours for special education assistants and the necessary equipment to provide services for those children," Hamlyn said.

An area with a notable drop in funding is capital acquisitions, which goes from $212,000 last year to $20,000 this year.

"Over the past two years we've added new campuses, and this year we're not, so the only possible additions under capital acquisitions would be for some new equipment," she said.

The budget reflects enrollment of 855 for kindergarten through eighth grade and 200 for grades high school.

The state only pays for kindergarten children for a half-day.

That makes the actual kindergarten through eighth-grade enrollment closer to 900, Hamlyn said.