The Durango School District 9-R school board gave final approval Tuesday to a $54.19 million budget for 2018-19, more than a 10.5 percent increase compared with the 2017-18 budget of $49.05 million.
The budget emphasizes meeting students’ social and emotional needs, adding 7.5 full-time equivalent positions dedicated to social-emotional issues.
It also provides a living wage to all support staff members, such as cafeteria workers and janitors. No support staff member will make less than $13 an hour next year.
A new school resource officer will be funded by using $100,000 in savings created by switching liability insurance carriers. The money will fund salary, benefits and administrative costs.
State funding jumped from $29.41 million in 2017-18 to $33.39 million in 2018-19, and local revenues, largely funded by property taxes and a voter-approved override of property-tax limitations under Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, increased from $22.74 million to $24.03 million.
“There is an appropriate focus on the social-emotional needs of the students. I think that is what the board heard loud and clear from meetings and with dinners they held with teachers,” 9-R Superintendent Dan Snowberger said at an earlier budget meeting.