School Board adopts budget | SteamboatToday.com

School Board adopts budget

District members set aside $290,000 to increase staff salaries

Mike McCollum

Retired teacher and current Steamboat Springs High School basketball coach Kelly Meek speaks in strong support of the school's principal

— The Steamboat Springs School Board decided Monday to increase the amount of money set aside in the district’s 2007-08 budget to raise staff salaries.

“We talked at the last meeting about setting aside $200,000, which is the equivalent of a 1.5 percent, across-the-board increase (for staff salaries),” said Dale Mellor, director of finance for the Steamboat Springs School District. “Since that time, that number has increased, and we (now) have $290,000, which is the equivalent of a 2 percent, across-the-board increase.”

Mellor said that during an accounting conversion from a building-based budget to a program-based budget, duplicate expenditures were discovered, which lowered expenses by $94,000 and freed up funds for teacher and staff salaries.

The School Board voted Monday to set aside the $290,000 in a new budget item, but board members will address how to allocate the money at a later date. Mellor said the board could approve a 1 percent across-the-board salary increase to staff and give the additional 1 percent to the district’s collaborative bargaining team, or CBT, to distribute.

“That way you can get money into people’s pockets right away,” he said.

The School Board approved $20.7 million in expenditures Monday night, which is an increase of about $2.4 million from 2006. As is typical with public school system budgets, salaries and benefits make up the majority of district spending. During the 2007-08 school year, the district anticipates spending nearly $15.8 million on its employees, according to budget sheets provided by Mellor.

Recommended Stories For You

Salary and benefits equal about 79.3 percent of the district’s general fund revenues, plus 100 percent of a property tax increase passed by Steamboat voters in 2006.

Total payroll expenses increased by about $1.7 million from last year, which is partly due to the district increasing salaries by 3.3 percent for certified staff, 4.64 percent for support staff and 3 percent for administrators.

“We are funding programs entirely with property taxes,” said Mellor, who noted school district property taxes are anticipated to increase to $13 million, an increase of $2.2 million – or 19.9 percent – from last year.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.