A glimpse of a preliminary 2019-20 budget, which needs about $375,000 in trims to bring the numbers into balance, was presented to Durango School District board members at their Tuesday night meeting.
Superintendent Dan Snowberger said cuts will need to be made from requested budgets from the district’s schools and various departments, but the deficit is down from about a $1 million imbalance when numbers were crunched last month.
The total general fund budget for the district came in at just over $54 million for 2018-19.
Initial cuts to budget requests first centered on the central office, and Snowberger said $206,000 has been trimmed from the current central office budget.
Beyond cuts, he said the district has set aside $500,000 in curriculum funding that will be allocated to individual schools for use at each school’s discretion. Snowberger said the discretionary money will be divvied by giving each school $120 for each pupil enrolled.
Staff salaries and benefits at 9-R account for 85% of the budget, and Snowberger said he currently estimates that a little over 81% of staff members will receive a salary increase in 2019-20 at a cost of $1.8 million.
If full-day kindergarten is funded by the Colorado General Assembly, it would free up about $1.2 million in the district’s budget.
Based on preliminary indications from the Colorado General Assembly, Snowberger said 9-R anticipates receiving about $500,000 in funding for rural schools, but that’s a decrease from the $834,000 the district received for 2018-19.
Snowberger plans to present the budget in detail to the school board and make public presentations next month.
The school board also passed a $20 increase in the cost of full-time preschool care for next school year. The increase would bring the cost of full-time preschool through 9-R to $440. The board also passed a $10-a-month increase in the cost of half-time preschool, which brings the cost of half-time preschool through 9-R to $220 a month.
The board also increased the cost of its Kids’ Camp after-school program by 50 cents a day for all pricing levels.
That increase brings the cost of Kids’ Camp for students who pay full price for meals to $13.50 per day. For students paying reduced price for meals, the cost will be $10 a day, and for students receiving free lunch, the cost will be $9 a day.