Thompson School District approves $147+ million budget for 2018-19 school year

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

The Thompson School District Board of Education approved the proposed $147,278,062 budget for the 2018-19 school year on Wednesday evening in Loveland. The board also approved a $.25 across-the-board increase in the price of student meals served at the schools. Both measures were approved unanimously.

The budget includes $6.5 million drawn from the School Finance Act and an additional $4.9 million that was taken out of reserves. This will be the last time the district will be able to pull that much out of the reserve fund, which it has done for the last handful of years, as the total balance in that fund will be just over $2.5 million at the end of the upcoming school year.

The district hopes to have the budget balanced this time next year, thanks to savings from closing two schools – Loveland’s Stansberry and Van Buren Elementary Schools – and is hoping voters approve a proposed property-tax increase this fall.

Of the budget, $106,143,691 will be used to pay salaries and benefits for teachers, administrators and support staff, an increase of $3,693,288 from the 2017-18 budget. The increase comes from the annual 2.75 percent scheduled salary ladder and a 3.5 percent cost of living increase.

Salaries account for $78,112,631 of the total allotment and benefits for $28,031,060. Of the remaining monies, 7.8 percent goes to what the district classifies as purchased services, 5.7 percent to supplies and materials and 1.7 percent to property and equipment.

The $.25-per-meal increase is due to rising costs of food. As Gordon Jones, the district’s chief financial officer, said in the meeting on June 6, “(The public) needs to understand we’re a conduit for a lot of other businesses … we’re not creating the cost, they’re being passed on to us and, unfortunately, it’s going to be passed on to the taxpayers.” Jones also called the increase in the cost of food “phenomenal.”

With the increase, elementary school breakfasts will now cost $1.75 and lunches will run $3. For the middle and high schools, breakfast will be $2 and lunch will now cost $3.25. According to the board, the district served over 1.5 million meals to students last year. The increase in prices, however, will not apply to those students who are on the districts reduced cost-of-meals program.

The $.25 increase in meal prices will bring in $159,993 in revenue for the districts nutritional services fund. Said fund is outside the general budget and must cover its own costs; for the 2018-19 school year the fund will have to draw an estimated $100,000 out of its reserve fund.

The school board will take the month of July off before resuming regular, bi-monthly meetings on Aug. 2.

Tags: , , ,