School District Sees More Revenue, More Expenses in Proposed Budget

School District Sees More Revenue, More Expenses in Proposed Budget

The Rock Springs Junior High School. File photo

ROCK SPRINGS – Sweetwater County School District No. 1 is looking at a preliminary budget of $101 million during the 2024-2025 fiscal year, with that budget increasing by $2.7 million over the current fiscal year.

The budget was a topic for the district’s board of trustees Monday night. According to Scot Duncan, the district’s chief financial officer, the challenges the district has going into the fiscal year are the same as what it has faced already – recruiting and retaining staff. 

He said the revenue in the district is up $1.8 million, which he says is the effect of having lower average daily membership numbers, as well as an external cost adjustment by the state and an increase in special education funding. Average daily membership (ADM) figures are used in the state’s education funding model to determine how much school districts receive in state funding.

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He said the district lost the average daily membership of about 112 students, which resulted in a loss of approximately $1.5 million. The external cost adjustment the district received from the state offset those initial losses. 

Not only is revenue increasing in the district, but expenditures as well. 

“On the expenditures side, expenditures are up about $3 million,” Duncan said. “That’s mainly due to the virtual school – that’s a little bit less than $400,000.”

Duncan said the gap between revenue and expenditures was mainly filled using reserve money. He said there were also reductions in secondary-level positions.

While speaking about future budget estimates, he said the district will likely see a small deficit during the 2025-2026 budget, with a larger deficit anticipated for the 2026-2027 fiscal year. 

“We are looking at a fairly large deficit, but we have a couple of years to figure that out,” he said. 

What drives those projected losses is the decrease in average daily membership, however he said the district’s administration hopes the announced trona expansions will drive more enrollment into the district. 

A final budget will be brought to the board for approval in July.