Walla Walla school budget OK'd

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WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla School Board unanimously approved the district's 2011-12 school year budget during its regular meeting Tuesday.

The budget sees a nearly $530,000 reduction in state funding for the year, for a general fund balance of about $62 million. The board would dip into its reserve account to make up the lost funds from the state.

In the resolution, the board also approved a $1.1 million ASB fund, $3.6 million for its debt service fund, $1.8 million for the capital projects fund, and $230,00 for its transportation vehicle fund.

The capital projects fund includes $1.2 million secured from the state for the design of a Skills Center slated to be built on the Walla Walla Community College campus, and meant to be a satellite location of the Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick.

Walla Walla Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Pat Johnston said the $1.2 million will cover the cost of the specific design for the proposed center, which is to serve high school students throughout the region.

The district is pursuing the center at virtually no cost to the district because of statewide momentum to get such centers built. Money for the project, such as initial funds for a pre-design phase, is being provided by the state.

The design money brings the district one step closer to securing construction money. Johnston said the district would be up for consideration during the 2013-15 biennium.

The $230,000 in the transportation fund will go to the purchase of two new school buses.

Board member Max Carrera was absent from the Tuesday meeting.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317.

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