RANCHESTER — Sheridan County School District 1 will operate with a thinner budget for fiscal year 2018.

The SCSD1 board approved a budget totaling $19,562,109 for the upcoming year Wednesday evening at its monthly meeting.

Excluding the approximately $3.5 million in expenditures for major capital construction during the 2017 fiscal year, which totaled approximately $23.5 million, expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year declined by more than $400,000. The district’s fiscal year 2018 general fund budget totals $15,055,650.

The budget was developed in a series of workshops conducted by school district officials and board members throughout the spring and early summer. During that time, officials have opted to minimize the number of staff to offset funding reductions.

In 2011, the district had approximately 107 teachers on staff. Heading into the 2017-18 school year, the district will have just shy of 90 teachers.

During that time period, the district’s enrollment grew considerably, and officials expect enrollment to grow in the future, as well.

“If anyone can find some fat, I would be happy to cut it, but we are as lean as we possibly can be on this particular budget,” Superintendent Marty Kobza said.

The district did not fill all vacant teaching positions for the 2017-18 school year.

Kobza said the fight to keep teachers and funds for instruction is not over. The Wyoming Legislature approved a $34 million cut to the state’s education budget during its 2017 session, and SCSD1 officials expect more cuts in the coming year.