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SILVER CREEK – The first draft of the 2013-14 school budget was presented to members of the Silver Creek Board of Education at their regular meeting Wednesday night at the high school.

The $20.48 million spending plan is up 3.25 percent from the current budget and is expected to raise the tax rate by about 62 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The draft was divided into three main categories. The program portion, the largest of the three at $15.38 million, includes instructional salaries and all programs for students. It is expected to increase by $328,340 due to higher salaries and the need for special-education programs in the next spending year.

Administration at $1.97 million and capital costs at $3.13 million make up the rest of the draft budget.

This year, the district will also ask voters to approve the purchase of a bus for $116,000. Funding for the purchase would come from the reserve fund and not have any impact on taxes, according to Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich.

In addition, voters will be deciding on a proposal to allow the district to put up to $850,000 in a reserve fund to be used to offset costs of future budgets.

The superintendent reported that the district hopes to maintain art, music and all athletic programs in the new budget year. He said 38.5 positions have been cut or reduced over the last five years. That amounts to a 16 percent cut in staffing and a 14 percent cut in administrative positions.

Voting on the budget will be from 1 to 9 p.m. May 21. District residents also will vote on two open seats on the School Board. One seat is a five-year term currently held by Greg Cole, who was appointed but will not seek election, and the second is a one-year term that was held by Amy Chavez, who recently resigned.

Petitions to run for the board are available in the District Clerk’s Office and require signatures of 25 people who are approved voters in the district. The petitions must be returned by April 22.