District ready to begin budgeting

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On June 22, the Moffat County School District Board of Education will vote on adopt the 2006-07 budget. There likely will be little discussion surrounding the vote.

"It may seem that there's little thought behind it, but that's not true. For us, budget discussions start now," board President JoAnn Baxter said.

Principals and department leaders received budget forms Jan. 10 so they could begin identifying their needs. And from now until March, the district will solicit input from school staff members, parents and volunteers.

District administrators will compile the suggestions. Administrators are expected to give a preliminary budget to the school board by April 27.

What will follow are two months of revisions and prioritizations by the board and staff members.

By then, school board members are expected to have a firm grasp on school financing.

They'll meet Feb. 16 for "Budget & Finance 101," during which they'll learn about the factors that influence revenues and the specific needs of the Moffat County School District.

Other topics will include comparisons to neighboring districts and how to find money to build and improve schools.

Including a beginning balance of nearly $5 million, the school district had about $23 million to spend in 2005-06.

Salaries account for nearly 70 percent of the budget, and employee benefits account for another 16 percent.

District officials set a goal of holding to zero-growth in expenditures for the year.

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 equal about 4 percent of the district's budget.

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