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District 25 approves $57.4 million budget, off a bit from '11-12

Jul 24, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Fremont County School District 25 Board of Education approved its 2012-13 budget Wednesday that includes nearly $36.118 million in its general fund.

The allocation is an uptick from last year's $35.068 million general fund. These monies are used for day-to-day operations.

Total appropriations come to $57,432,590. Other budgetary items include $7.3 million in an insurance fund, $6 million in the special revenue (federal) fund, $3.5 million in major maintenance, $2 million in capital projects, $1.44 million in food services, $750,000 in student activities and $325,000 in debt services.

The 2012-13 total budget is down slightly from the $58.5 million allocated last year. Some of the decreases occurred in special revenues ($7 million last year) and capital projects ($3 million last year).

Per statute, school districts statewide approved their 2012-13 budgets this week.

Other districts

With federal funds likely seeing cuts and no cost-of-living adjustments from the Legislature for the third consecutive year, Fremont County school districts are bracing for funding shortfalls and intend to buckle down on their finances this year.

"We're clamping down, and we are going to continue to clamp down," said School District 14 superintendent Michelle Hoffman.

School District 14, which consists of Wyoming Indian schools, approved a $20.76 million budget. This is down from $25.854 million in 2011-12.

The bulk of the new budget, $16.07 million, is the general fund. This sum is lower than last year's $16.44 million.

Hoffman said her district has spent the last few years preparing for anticipated budget shortages.

"We've been looking for cuts because we knew cuts were coming from the federal government," she said. "We have been doing adjustments in staffing ... and through attrition are looking at keeping the budget tight."

Impact aid

The Wyoming Indian school district is among 10 statewide that receive Impact Aid monies. The fund is financial assistance for districts located on non-taxable land owned by the federal government. This includes Indian lands.

The federal aid is likely to see cuts this year.

Since Impact Aid funds its lunch and breakfast program, Hoffman said School District 14 has lowered its appropriation to the program from about $904,000 last year to $705,802 for the upcoming year.

The savings, she said, came from not replacing a cook and looking at food items that could be changed.

Wyoming Indian's budget also includes about $1.83 million in capital projects, $815,757 in pupil transportation, $100,000 in student activities and $52,065 in debt services.

The capital construction fund allocation will go toward planning and drafting the district's new elementary school.

Lander

School District 1 in Lander accepted a total budget of nearly $48.823 million, an increase from the $47.6 million approved 12 months ago.

The new financial plan includes an approximate $26.34 million general fund. This is just above the $26.073 million allocated for the 2011-12 year.

The 2012-13 budget also includes $4 million in special revenue, $2 million in major maintenance, $900,000 in student activities and $724,000 in food services. Aside from the general fund, the next largest line item in Lander's budget for the upcoming year is $13.25 million for finishing the construction of the new Gannett Peak Elementary School.

Dubois

School District 2 in Dubois approved a $4.9 million general fund for 2012-13. The figure is up from $4.684 million a year ago.

Also in the budget is $850,000 in capital projects, $500,000 in the special revenue fund, $450,000 in major building and facility repairs and $195,000 in food services.

The overall budget comes to a little more than $7.65 million, which is up from $7.145 million last year.

Wind River

In Pavillion, School District 6 Board of Education approved a nearly $10.96 million budget, which is down from the $12.273 million appropriated in 2011-12.

Roughly $8.26 million of it will go toward the general fund. The amount is up from $7.73 million approved last year.

The district, which is comprised of Wind River and Crowheart schools, will have a capital maintenance fund of $750,000.

Other budgetary items are: special revenue, $1.5 million; debt services, $1.2 million; food service fund, $297,000; pupil activity fund, $200,000; housing fund, $50,000; and early retirement, $50,000.

Fort Washakie

The School District 21 Board of Education in Fort Washakie approved its 2012-13 budget that consists of a $13.475 million general fund. The latest figure is down from $13.97 million last year.

The overall budget comes to $17.447 million. This compares to $16.9 million allocated a year ago.

"The budgets are based on past expenditures, future projections and items requested by the Board," superintendent Richard McClements wrote in a resolution to be adopted by trustees.

The budget has $2 million in special revenue funds, $750,000 for the lunch fund, $1 million for capital projects and $60,000 for housing.

There is also $35,000 for the activity fund, $95,000 for early retirements and $30,000 for the recreation board.

Shoshoni

The School District 24 Board of Education approved a $6.875 million budget, which is a near mirror image to the $6.843 million last year.

Business manager Kay Watson said Shoshoni's general fund for next year is about $6.64 million, which is up from $5.98 million in 2011-12 year.

Watson attributed the increase to covering costs for an upturn in the number of students with special needs.

The food service fund rose from $80,000 to $115,000. Not only are food costs rising, but Watson said Shoshoni also pays more for transporting food to the rural school.

"It's the costs of getting food here," she said.

The special revenue fund (federal monies) remained at $700,000 as did pupil activity funds at $80,000.

Arapahoe

In Arapahoe, School District 38 Board of Education accepted a 2012-13 budget that includes roughly $11.57 million in the general fund. This number is down from $13.7 million last year.

Other appropriations for the upcoming year include $2.3 million in capital projects, nearly $2.25 million in special revenue, $1.19 million in student transportation, $700,000 in the lunch fund and $60,000 in the pupil activity fund.

Arapahoe's total budget rests at nearly $18.1 million, an amount that is a repeat from last year.