SCSD No. 2 Board of Trustees Approves $59.4M Preliminary Budget

SCSD No. 2 Board of Trustees Approves $59.4M Preliminary Budget

Photo courtesy of SCSD No. 2

GREEN RIVER — The Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Board of Trustees unanimously approved a preliminary budget for 2024-25 with appropriations totaling $59,485,688.

SCSD No. 2 Business Manager Chris Dean said this budget marks a transition from the loss of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding that has padded the budget since the COVID-19 pandemic. This brings about a decrease of $2.3 million in the Special Revenue Fund.

Dean said there were certain considerations the school district had as they “transition from the finalization of the ESSER funding, and get back into a normal funding cycle.”

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Those considerations included a priority of maintaining a competitive position for retention of employees, and maintain service levels provided to students that were afforded by ESSER grants.

They also considered inflationary impacts, including utilities, property and liability insurance, supplies, and employer injury liability insurance. Additionally, the district is dealing with a continuing decrease in student Average Daily Membership, in which they have experienced a loss of 34 ADM. Dean said each year the district’s elementary enrollment has decreased, and while they are projecting more drops in the coming years, she noted all it takes is for a change in the economy to possibly boost enrollment. Furthermore, the district will experience a loss of funding due to the closure of the Thoman School, which is happening this year.

Dean said the district did however receive an increase in special education and transportation reimbursements. SCSD No. 2 is also utilizing grant funding, which will provide some assistance for the next couple years. The Wyoming Stronger Connections Grant, which helps to fund a family counselor program, will last until fiscal year 2026.

The TISS Community Grant is a four-year grant that funds school mental health services, and that will provide funding until December 2026. Lastly, the UW Ride Grant, which funds the RIDE program, will last until June 2025. While these grants are time limited, Dean said they are there to help in the immediate future.

Included in the budget is also an overall 5.55% increase the 2024-25 Interest Based Negotiation Agreement, which includes salaries, benefits, and insurance for staff.

One of the school board’s and administration’s priorities was to cut down on costs through attrition savings, Dean said. The district was able to eliminate five teaching positions, a half of an administration position, and three and a half support positions.

Dean noted increases to the general fund through the utilization of cash reserves. There will be an increase of $3 million in the general fund, of which $950,000 will come from reserves for a Nutrition Services Subsidy in the amount of $200,000, and Curriculum Adoptions in the amount of $750,000.