There have been two major changes in the Nevada School Business Office during the current school year to make work handled by staff more efficient and less time-consuming. This efficiency saves money, which means more funds can flow to educating students.

The first change occurred when staff returned to school after break last summer. The school has contracted with a company called FrontLine to provide employee time clock and employee leave management software. The time clock software is all online, so employees need to clock in and out via computers connected to this system at all the school buildings. This meets the school’s responsibility for maintaining an accounting of hours worked for all hourly employees. A similar system maintains an accounting of employee leave and keeps balances of leave taken. This leave system replaces a time-consuming manual system maintained in each of the school buildings.

FrontLine also provides substitute teacher management software to the school. Teachers enter time they need to be out of the classroom into this software system, known as Aesop. Aesop then will do a search of a database of available substitute teachers, via by telephone or Internet, to replace the teacher who is out of the classroom. This saves time for the building principals and staff, who no longer have to search for substitute teachers.

The second change occurred this winter on Jan. 1. The school moved from one fund accounting software package to another, which is from an Iowa-based company. The Area Education Agency that serves the Grant Wood area in and around Cedar Rapids has made their accounting software package available to local school districts. This Grant Wood accounting system staff is familiar with all the reporting required of Iowa schools and they have customized the system for Iowa schools. The system provides the accounting system online and includes both an online purchase order and an online payroll paystub system. With all the reporting required at the local, state and federal levels, this new software system will be a time savings to me and my staff.

The Budget for the New School Year

At the Monday, April 14, school board meeting, the board will consider a new tax levy (as published) at $16.60 per thousand taxable value. The board is able to consider an alternate levy. The levy can be lower than the $16.60 published.

It has been easier to plan for the new school year, since the 2013 State Legislature set the supplemental state aid increase at 4 percent. The Legislature this year has not set the supplemental state aid increase for the 2015-16 school year, which will complicate the planning work for local school districts for that year’s school budget next year at this time.

Brian Schaeffer is business manager for the Nevada Schools.