DIRECTOR –The Warden School Board, at a regular meeting Thursday, approved the district’s total budget of $23.8 million for the 2022-23 school year.
The budget includes $19.8 million for regular operations, $3.2 million for capital projects, $409,000 to operate the district’s school buses and $251,000 for athletics and other activities covered by the Associated Student Body Fund.
“We’re good,” said WSD Vice Chairman Doug Skone, who chaired the meeting, after the 3-0 vote.
Two board members – Chairman Rick Martin and Member-at-large Kasandra Campos – did not attend the meeting, leaving only three of the five members to vote on the budget.
Of the $19.3 million in the district’s general operating fund, approximately $12 million in revenue is expected in state funding based on daily attendance, while $1.2 million will come from the levy. location approved by voters. About $5 million will come from specific federal aid, and another $1.1 million from targeted federal and state aid — such as transportation funding and school nutrition programs — according to WSD’s chief financial officer, Kassandria Roll.
Rouleau told board members that WSD’s biggest expense in 2022-23 will be salaries for teachers, assistants and aides, which are expected to reach about $12.5 million, or 63% of the total budget. District administration will cost the district approximately $1.7 million, and district-wide maintenance, not including capital projects, is expected to cost $4.8 million. School administration is expected to cost $757,000.
The district expects enrollment of 850 students in the 2022-23 school year, up slightly from 845 in 2021-22, Rouleau said. However, she added that over the past five years, WSD has seen average student enrollment decline by more than 100 students, with the district seeing an average of 961 students pass through its three schools over the course of the year. school year 2017-2018.
WSD posted the largest drop in student enrollment in 2020 during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rouleau said. This represented a loss of more than 50 students from the 897 enrolled in 2019-20 and the 844 enrolled in 2020-21.
“We haven’t fully recovered from COVID,” she said.
In regards to the capital budget, the Warden School District is in the process of replacing the entire heating and cooling system at Warden Elementary School and the air cooling unit which cools the indoor air from Warden High School and the high school gymnasium.
Council members also approved $280,000 to purchase two new buses for the district’s school bus fleet.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]