Moffat County School District 2017-18 Budget is in the black | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County School District 2017-18 Budget is in the black

Moffat County School District Board of Education

For the first time in at least five years, the Moffat County board of education has approved a budget with revenue projected to exceed $20 million, about $2 million more than last year.

The Moffat County School District budget provides a second pay increase to staff, increases approved capital expenditures and maintains services provided last year.

"What the board approved was a fiscally responsible budget with a healthy fund balance," said Superintendent Dave Ulrich.

The school district has not had to make cuts is in stark contrast to other government entities also struggling to weather a decline in local revenues.

The biggest difference between the school district budget and other entities is something called "State Equalization."

"The state guarantees us a certain amount of funding, so whatever we don't get from property taxes, we get from the state," said District Executive Director of Finance and Operations John Wall.

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One-time and ongoing state revenue increases have had a big impact on the bottom line. The complete budget is now available on the school district website. Here are some of the highlights.

Five facts about the 2017-18 budget

1 — Revenues are projected to exceed $20 million for the first time in the last 5 years. Increased revenue comes from the following sources:

Ongoing
• State increase in per-pupil funding from $7,048 to $7,279 for an estimated increase of $390,000.
• The award of an Early Literacy Grant from the Colorado Department of Education in the amount of $447,000 in 2017-18 and for $250,000 in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
• An increase in state funding for Special Education estimated at $100,000.
• $140,000 in new federal revenue to go toward preschool.

One-time
• $361,000 state funding increase to rural school districts resulting from Senate Bill 17-267 — Sustainability of Rural Colorado.
• Recouping $338,000 that was lost in 2016-17 from the Salt River Project abatement.

2 — Staff realignment in English Language Learning is expected to result in a savings of about $25,000.

3 — The following additional changes were made to staff:

• Two literacy coaches will be hired at a cost of about $102,000 as a condition of the Early Literacy Grant.
• About $51,000 will be spent to hire a behavioral specialist.
• About $51,000 will be spent to hire a Special Education Certified Preschool teacher.
• About $40,000 will be spent to hire two new preschool teachers.
• About $25,000 will be spent to hire a half-time English teacher at Craig Middle School.
• If the contact is finalized, about $190,000 will be spent for Memorial Regional Health to continue to provide nursing and health tech. services throughout the school district.

4 — The board approved $820,000 in capital spending compared to $240,000 approved by the board for the 2016-17 budget. The increase comes from one time allocations: $360,000 from Senate Bill 267, plus reserves from the capital projects fund and from general fund reserves.

5 — The top fiscal challenge faced by the district is the roughly $17 million needed for deferred facilities maintenance. The board has begun a process to close one of four elementary schools in Craig for an annual estimated savings of $750,000 that would begin to help renovate old schools, help replace old equipment and help replace an old bus fleet.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education

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