The Kyrene School District is moving forward into the 2013-14 school year with a final, approved budget adopted this week by the governing board.

No longer in its previous $8.9 million deficit, district officials will start looking at strategies to restore lost programs and services in recent years due to budget cuts.

With the recently passed legislation for school bond funding, Kyrene will be able to pay for its high priority capital needs like leaky roofs, rusted pipes and sewer smells in its schools.

“We now have the potential to improve sustainable solutions,” said Jeremy Calles, district chief financial officer. “Before, it was not trimming fat, but cutting into meat and bone.”

Calles said the district will spend this next school year looking at how to bring back some of its programs and services to its school sites for 2014-15. With some committees to be formed as a need for strategies arise, Calles said topics like class size, art, music and physical education are likely to be discussed.

“We’re basically starting all over again with a whole other list of budget strategies, saying these are the things we want to consider and then we’ll narrow it down,” he said.

The five-member governing board voted unanimously in favor of the final proposed budget Tuesday, also calling for a public hearing in conjunction with its next board meeting at the district office on July 7.

“I would rather be debating about what we need to add back instead of debating about what we need to get rid of,” Calles said. “This is definitely going to be a better year than the previous years.”

Kyrene School District offices are located in Tempe, at 8700 S. Kyrene Road.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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