By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Hannibal School Board this week approved a preliminary budget for 2014-15 showing $33.5 million in both expenses and revenue.
"Right now it looks like the budget will be in the black," Superintendent Jill Janes said in an interview.
Janes said the budget includes a projected $500,000 in additional revenue that's expected to come to the district through the state's revised foundation formula. But that money is "still kind of iffy," she said.
Janes said state officials have warned that some "withholdings" of state funding may be necessary in the new fiscal year that begins July 1 if the state's anticipated revenue fails to materialize as projected. That means the state could permanently withhold some of the general state aid payments it plans to give school districts.
For this reason, Janes said, Hannibal's preliminary budget was kept "very similar to last year's budget" in case withholdings take place.
"Even though there is a projection of $500,000 more, we're going to wait until next June before we count on that $500,000. So we're being really conservative with the budget," she said.
The budget will not be finalized until October after all revenue and expense adjustments are taken into account.
"It's an estimate at this time," Janes said. "We don't have all the receipts in from this year, and we don't have all the final numbers in for next year."
In other action, the board approved a 5-cent increase in lunch prices for next school year. This will put lunch prices at $1.75 for elementary schools and $2.25 for the middle school and high school.
According to Janes, the district had to raise its lunch prices a nickel because of a requirement handed down by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education based on the federal law governing the national school lunch program.
"We are below what they consider Ďaverage' for breakfast and lunch prices, and they require us to show a continued effort in raising those prices each year," Janes said.
The board recognized Brenda Hallbauer, who teaches biology, nuclear science and forensics at Hannibal High School. Hallbauer has been selected to receive the 2014 Geoffrey G. Eichholz Outstanding Science Teacher Award of the Health Physics Society.
The award, to be presented to Hallbauer next month in Baltimore, honors teachers in grades K-12 who have made significant contributions to educating students on topics related to the field of radiation safety.