GREEN RIVER — The Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Board of Trustees unanimously approved and adopted the Fiscal Year 2021 budget Tuesday, with a total of $58,146,272 in appropriations.
According to Chris Dean, SCSD No. 2 Business Manager, the school district’s general fund appropriations for Fiscal Year 2021 are $41,240,282 and revenues are projected at $41,164,250. These amounts represent budgeted increases over the prior year actuals of 1.46 percent for appropriations and of 1.07 percent in revenue. The ending cash reserves is projected at $8,094,728.
Of the district’s general budget, 81.8 percent, roughly $33.1 million, goes toward salaries and benefits. The remaining 18.2 percent, $7.4 million, goes toward non-salary costs.
“It’s a good split,” Dean said of the percentages. “It’s about the split we’ve been operating at for years.”
Dean said SCSD No.2’s Foundation Guarantee for FY 2021 is $39.1 million, which is an increase of $532,183 from last year.
Through interest-based-negotiations, the Board of Trustees and the Green River Education Association (GREA) agreed to provide a salary increase of an experience step, education step, and $100 base increase to the certified salary schedule, and a $.03 base increase to the support salary schedule.
Dean said the district will be watching the number of students enrolled in classes this year to help determine how much funding they will receive. Average daily membership declined two percent, 52 students, from the previous year, resulting in a three-year decline trend of 7.1 percent, or 191 students.
“This is something we’re really going to watch closely this year,” Dean said. “Especially with some of the options that are being provided to the students for homeschooling and virtual school. We will not get funding for those students who choose those options.”
CARES Act Funding
Dean also gave an update on CARES Act funding. The total amount available to the district for FY 2021 is $843,235. She said the funding will go to priority items, as there is limited funds.
In FY 2020, from March 13 through June 30, CARES Act funding was used to purchase $201,284 worth of sanitation supplies, personal protective equipment and safety modifications, and instructional technology equipment.
So far in FY 2021, just under $415,000 worth of orders have been made using CARES Act funding. These orders include technology equipment for delivery of online instruction, air purifiers, sanitation equipment, one additional nurse, and potential additional staff costs to deliver online instruction.
“The costs that will go into this CARES Act grant are going to be prioritized for the reopening plan, of course. With all of the items we could possibly be buying, we believe that we’ve probably spent that money. There is going to be a prioritization that’s going to have to occur,” Dean said.
Dean said a major goal of this year will be to prepare for potential reductions in funding due to continuing losses in average daily membership, the 2021 scheduled re-calibration of the Wyoming School Funding Model, and the state and local economic impacts of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, economic impacts within the community from declines in trona, oil and gas production could result in a loss of students due to local layoffs.
The Board of Trustees also unanimously approved three voluntary levies. The levies are:
- Sweetwater BOCES- .5 Mill
- BOCES Region V- .2 Mill
- Recreation Board- 1.0 Mill
The Sweetwater BOCES mill levy is estimated to generate $492,171, the BOCES Region V mill is estimated to generate $196,868, and the Recreation Board mill levy is estimated to generate $984,342.
To view the complete FY 2020-2021 budget, click here.