Eagle County schools budgetting conservatively | VailDaily.com

Eagle County schools budgetting conservatively

Lauren Glendenning
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The Eagle County School District is trying to budget for a school year in which it doesn’t know the two main factors in determining how much state funding it will get: enrollment numbers and the percent increase in funding the state legislature will allocate for the 2009-10 school year, said Jason Glass, director of human resources for the district.

What it means is the school district has to budget conservatively for next year, essentially low-balling the number of students it expects. The state gives the district a certain amount of money for each student in school and that official count isn’t done until Oct. 1.

Right now the school district is budgeting for 168 less students next year, but there are hopes that enrollment will be higher next year compared to enrollment from the 2008-09 school year, Glass said.

The state legislature must increase education funding every year by at least inflation plus one percent, according to the voter-passed Amendment 23.

The school district was expecting for a 2.28 percent increase, and now that number is at 2.22 percent, Glass said.

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The district has to wait until the General Assembly finishes this session before it can rely on a number, and even then the Legislature could hold a special session and end up changing the percentage again.

Until then, the district is trying to cut areas of the budget other than staffing, Glass said. Cutting program costs, which school district staff is recommending to the school board, is an easy way to go because that money can be replenished if the enrollment count ends up being higher than expected in October.

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