Durango School District 9-R is crunching numbers to get to a budget of about $54 million for 2018-19, with a public presentation of the budget set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 8 at Miller Middle School.
“The initial budget proposal is a dream list of everything we could possibly want. Now, we’re down to prioritizing to see what we can do and what is reasonable based on available resources,” 9-R Superintendent Dan Snowberger told the school board Tuesday in a work session.
The $54 million budget compares with a $49 million budget in 2017-18.
The per-pupil funding from the state for 2017-18 was $4,811.50 and is expected to increase to $4,998.57 for 2018-19. The district also expects student numbers to increase next year between 40 to 45 students.
Currently, Snowberger said the administration is still looking to make $212,000 in cuts to meet its $54 million budget number.
Lunch prices may be raised next year to help fund the district’s commitment to provide a livable wage to all staff members. Currently, a cook in the district takes home an average of about $11 an hour, but that will go up to an average of about $13 an hour next year.
The pay increase will leave the district $300,000 in the red for food services. Board members heard a recommendation for a 25-cent increase in breakfasts and a 10-cent increase in lunches to partially cover the shortfall. But the breakfast increase would bring in only about $8,000 for the year and the lunch increase would only generate about $14,000 annually – leaving the district in search of ways to cover the shortfall.
A similar budgetary dynamic is at work with the district’s Kids Camp summer child care program that serves about 140 children.
The district has subsidized the program with about $30,000, and the district is looking to increase the daily fee for a child by $5 so the program is self-sustaining.
Demand exceeds the available staff for the Kids Camp program, and there was some speculation that the district’s commitment to provide a livable wage would attract more staff members to provide child care and, as a result, increase the number of children who could be enrolled.