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Software Upgrade Could be Costly to LG School District

The Lemon Grove School District will share the cost of installing better finance and payroll software at the county educational office.

The Lemon Grove School District recently voted to share the cost of upgrading to better finance and payroll software with the San Diego County Office of Education despite concerns over the expense.

The board voted 4-1 to support a Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the upgrade. Board President Blanca Brown voted against.

District staff noted there was little choice in the matter in a report presented during the Jan. 8 school board meeting. The district relies on the county agency for personnel, payroll and finance accounting, Lemon Grove officials said.

“The District is not capable of funding, deploying and managing a system of our own so we must participate,” according to a district staff report.

What the exact cost to them will be is not yet known, said Lemon Grove School District Superintendent Ernie Anastos.

“I’ve not seen a cost analysis on that yet,” he said on Friday.

Several school and college districts have been asked to participate in the upgrade. The county education agency is working to fund at least 50 percent of the cost of the overhaul, Lemon Grove officials said. But the annual fee the Lemon Grove district pays for services will increase by some $10,000.

The district, which has worked under the constraint of financial difficulties, has made it clear this is not well timed, but the county office of education seemed urged and indicated the current system could be on the verge of failing, officials said.

To ease the burden, the school district has made arrangements to pay half of the implementation fee in this fiscal year and the rest in the 2013-14 fiscal year. Taking an option to finance the cost over 20 years would have doubled the cost of the implementation fee, district officials said.

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