Raises, capital projects and fund balance reserves
By Mark Reaman
The Gunnison RE1J school district board of directors appears comfortable with the proposed 2018-19 budget and will look to approve it at a June 25 meeting.
The $19 million budget will add to the fund balance while giving teachers, staff and administration a base rate salary increase of 3 percent, with potential for a relatively standard 5 percent raise with the “Step-Up” program. The salary line item is 83 percent of the overall budget with a total of $13,173,595 going to all district salaries.
The board reviewed the second draft of the budget at the June 11 board meeting. RE1J district business manager Stephanie Juneau said the district is expecting 2,064 students next academic year, 20 fewer students compared to the year that just finished. She said both Crested Butte and Gunnison are expected to have slightly smaller kindergarten classes next year, estimating 45 kindergartners in Crested Butte and 85 in Gunnison.
The general fund budget will be about $1 million more than 2017-18, with more than half going to salary increases. The state’s per pupil revenue will be more than $8,000 for each student in 2018-19, which should bring in $17 million from the state. But due to the so-called “negative factor” part of the equation, the Gunnison district will receive $1.4 million less than it should, so it will actually receive $15.7 million from the state.
“Between the federal, state and local contributions we end up with per pupil funding of more than $9,000 per student, which is fantastic,” noted Juneau to the board. “The state’s contribution of $8,052 per student is the best ever.”
The district should end the year with a fund balance of approximately $4.8 million.
A $538,881 transfer into the capital reserve fund resulting from one-time funding in the general fund is being allocated toward the construction of two essential workforce housing units in Crested Butte.
The board will not set the Fund 26 mill levy until December, but that is expected to bring in approximately $2 million.
Open board seat application
Long-time Crested Butte Community School accountability committee chair Tyler Martineau submitted a letter asking to be considered for the Crested Butte board seat vacated by Marilyn Krill. He is the only person to submit a letter of interest so far. He was interviewed by the board at the June 11 meeting. Any other applicants have until June 21 to submit a letter. The board will appoint someone at the June 25 meeting.
Traffic study part of facilities
District superintendent Doug Tredway said a traffic study focused on the intersection of Sixth Street and Red Lady Avenue in Crested Butte has been completed by a traffic engineer for the district. That is the primary vehicle access for the Crested Butte Community School and Tredway said the district is rethinking the entryway since the Town Council took a roundabout for that location off the table. That study will be discussed as part of the new facilities master plan.