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SHERIDAN — Nearly $1 million of the increase planned for Sheridan County School District 2’s fiscal year 2015 budget is the result of salary increases.
The SCSD2 board of trustees approved the budget at a meeting Wednesday. The budget features a 3.2 percent increase of approximately $1.5 million in general fund expenditures.
The jump means the budget will increase from approximately $46.9 million to $48.4 million.
Nearly $1 million of the increase was the result of increases in salaries and benefits for teachers and administration. Instruction expenditures, which include anything that happens in the elementary, junior and senior high schools including teacher salaries and special education, English as a Second Language and drop-out prevention programs and more, increased $720,000.
Expenditures for instructional support increased $296,245. Instructional support includes guidance services, student planning office, assessment services, social work, health, psychologist, occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education contracted services, staff development, library technology integration and more.
The general support budget, which includes central administration, school administration, business administration, the board of trustees, building and ground maintenance, security services and transportation, increased approximately $500,000 from $12 million to $12.5 million.
Superintendent Craig Dougherty’s salary remained at the same level as fiscal year 2014 — $198,000, plus $800 per month for a vehicle allowance.
Salaries for assistant superintendents Terry Burgess and Tom Sachse and Director of Elementary Education Scott Stults increased nearly $6,000 from $137,450 to $143,000, plus a $700 per month vehicle allowance for Burgess and Stults and a $500 per month vehicle allowance for Sachse.
Other salaries for administrators, including business and school administration, increased anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 for the year.
A portion of the increase in salaries for employees will be covered by a $200,000 appropriation from the state Legislature.
Also included in the increase is $150,000 for the district to install two external cameras on each bus as required by new state statute. That money will be reimbursed within the year by the state.
The average daily membership for the district increased approximately 52 students for a total of 3,283 students in the district, which increases the budget, Business Manager Roxie Taft said. This number often does not reflect actual enrollment. She budgeted for an anticipated enrollment in 2014-2015 of 3,381 students, but state funding is based on the average daily membership calculated on last year’s ending enrollment or a three-year average of enrollment, whichever is higher.
Another part of the $1.5 million increase in the budget is from the addition of a variety of technology to the classrooms. All students in grades K-2 will receive an iPad; all sixth- through eighth-grade students will receive a Chromebook, kids in grades 3-5 will receive Chromebooks for use as outlined in the elementary technology plan and Chromebooks will also be added to English classrooms in grades 9-12.
Budgeted expenditures increased $15 to $14,306 per student.
The major maintenance budget decreased $762,000. Taft said this was mainly because so many majory projects were completed last year.
The school district will continue to levy the standard 25 mills plus one optional recreation mill. The revenue from the 25 mill levies, which are assessed on property taxes, account for 17.64 percent of the district’s total budget. Taft said because assesses valuation was up in the county, revenues from mill levies increased, causing state funding to decrease but not affecting the overall budget. If valuation is down, the state pitches in a larger piece of the pie, Taft said.