Green River Star -

By David Martin
Editor 

District approves budget

 


The Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Board of Trustees approved their 2018-2019 budget Tuesday evening.

The budget, according to Chris Dean, business manager for the district, works to align the district’s resources to student achievement. With Enrolled Act 64, Dean said the district fared better than officials expected. The act came at the end of a legislative standoff between the state House and Senate in regards to education funding. The first year of the act takes the solution provided by the Wyoming House, which was the more supported of the two approaches and impacted districts less, while the second year will approach the funding issue with the Senate’s solution, which is more aggressive with spending cuts.

The total budget amounts to $56,733,229, including $40.1 million in the district’s general fund. Dean said the budget is similar to the budget passed last year, though slightly decreased. Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo said she’s proud of the budget because it allows the district to maintain a promise administrators made to not let funding cuts impact the classroom.

She said the district continues to work towards its one-to-one initiative which aims to provide a laptop computer to each student in the district, while other purchases, such as the digital human cadaver at Green River High School, will provide better anatomy and physiology education to students.

While one change to the funding formula, based on average daily membership numbers of district students, would result in a decrease to the district, Dean said a hold harmless clause in Enrolled Act 64 provides districts impacted by the change with funding they wouldn’t have received.

During the 2018-2019 year, districts impacted by the change will receive two-thirds the amount they would be impacted, while they will receive one-third of the impacted amount during the 2019-2020 year.

The board voted to approve a mill levy neutral approach to property taxes as part of the district budget. The levies total 46.410 mills, comprising of 43 mills in mandatory district, county and state levies and voluntary levies generating $929,477 to the district’s recreation board, $464,739 to the Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Educational Service, $105,031 to the Region V Board of Cooperative Educational Services and $1.76 million for debt service on the voter-approved bonds used to build the Green River High School Aquatics Center.

Region V BOCES requested .2 mills as part of the budget, but the board decided to fund the organization at a level of .113 mills.

The levy gives Region V BOCES approximately $3,000 more than last year’s budget. With Sweetwater BOCES, Dean said the district receives much of the funding it provides back through grants distributed by the organization.

 

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