The school funding in the DeWitt School District has several revisions made to it by
several people before it is instituted and approved. First, the director of finance must prepare a
budget. Second, the budget must be looked at by the superintendant and revised. Third, the
superintendant must submit the budget to the school board for the final revisions. Lastly, the
school board will again revise and then approve the budget.
Bill Melching, the Director of Finance and Operation and Support Staff Personnel, is in
charde of the development of the original budget that will later be handed over to the
superintendant for review. During the early stages of the budget, Melching has to weigh how
much revenue the district has gained through taxes, transfers and state and federal funding so he
can decide what to spend on the pupil, instructional, school administraion, maintenace and
personnel areas in the district.
“I oversee the business office, budget accounting payroll, transportation, food service,
maintenance operations and I am head of the non-instructional non-certified staff,” said
Melching. “The overall budget for the district is $23.5 million. A large percent of the budget
comes from the state.”
School of Choice and No Child Left Behind can affect a school’s funding negatively.
However, the DeWitt schools do not currently allow school of choice because they are at
capacity; nor have they lost any money to No Child Left Behind because they have met all of the
standards required to keep their funding. School of choice is a year-by-year decision that the
school board makes; DeWitt hasn’t had school for several years.
Once the budget has been passed on to the superintendant, she then has to review it
before its submission to the school board. “I am totally responsible for developing the school
budget and presenting it to the board,” said Superintendant Tina Templin.
The school board approves the budget in June in accordance with state law. The budget
is updated by the school board several times before a final budget is agreed upon. “Through past
history we take a guess on a number for the budget, come fall we get more accurate numbers,
and then around December we have to revise the budget to attain more accurate numbers,” said
DeWitt School Board Member Tina Laurent. This is the process for the budget of that academic
The budget for a given academic year is already being worked on in January of the
previous academic year. “Mr. Melching and Mrs. Templin will start out with a basic budget,
take last year’s numbers and tweak them upon what we know for the next year. They are giving
us numbers based on the info we have,” said Laurent.
The final bank account, after distributing funds for the 2007-2008 school years, for the
DeWitt Public Schools is $3,611,361.
However, prior to 2003, DeWitt was struggling with keeping up with more modern
school technology. “I know for a long time that we were at the bottom of pupil funding. I know
for years we didn’t get an increase in funding. We wanted to do something different than the
previous board. We knew that technology was critical,” said former schoold board member and
now city council member Tony Stoker.
DeWitt has an overall budget of $23,431,112 for the 2007-2008 academic years. Their
expenditures only exceeded the budget by $41,103.