Educating an estimated 2,288 students will cost taxpayers $17,369,500 -- $66,580 more than last year.
"It costs us more to deliver the same product each year," said Moffat County School District Board of Education member Steve Hafey.
The board on Thursday approved the budget for the 2005-06 school year.
It estimates getting $17,817,170 in revenue, a number Superintendent Pete Bergmann believes to be very conservative. Add in a starting balance of $4,999,790 and the district will begin with $22,816,960.
To meet the expenses, the district will have to dip into its reserves $767,000.
"It seems like we never need all of what we budget," Finance Director Mike Brinks said. He doesn't believe the district will spend all it has budgeted to spend from reserves.
Salaries account for nearly 70 percent of the budget. Teachers negotiated an average 2 percent increase this year, which all district employees will receive.
Employee benefits are another 16 percent of the budget.
District officials set a goal of presenting a zero-growth budget and were within 0.38 percent of that target.
"We're in kind of a holding pattern now, and we're going to be able to hold the line for the next three, four, five years," Brinks said.
Officials expect that a larger-than-expected enrollment will push revenues up and that some federal aid will come in higher than anticipated.
The biggest portion of the school district's revenue -- 47 percent -- comes from property taxes, followed by state per-pupil funding.
The district collects 36.712 mills -- the highest of any county entity.
Per pupil funding was increased to $5,711 from $5,627.
Federal revenues are about 4 percent of the district's budget.
The district will spend nearly $800,000 on capital projects.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie.