Roaring Fork School District back to ‘normal’ through first quarter spending |

Roaring Fork School District back to ‘normal’ through first quarter spending

Spending through the first quarter of the school year has stayed slightly under budget for the Roaring Fork School District according to Chief Financial Officer Nathan Markham.

Markham said projections for enrollment were “spot on” this year after an uncertain pandemic year.

“It’s been business as usual,” Markham said. “If anything, we’re a little underspent through the first quarter of the year.”

Markham presented first-quarter budgeting to the Board of Education on Nov. 10, showing that the district spent 21% of its budget through the first 25% of the year. By the Sept. 30 date, Roaring Fork School District spent just more than $13.4 million of its $63.8 million annual budget, plus $14.4 million in appropriated reserves.

Spending is down due to more than 60 open positions at the beginning of the school year. With 19 unfilled teaching positions in July, the instruction salary budget is down more than $350,000. The district has allocated some money from those positions as needed but is still hoping to fill those roles.

“This is a unique year in my experience in schools,” Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Rob Stein said during the presentation. “We have more money than people, not by our choice. We’re trying to be creative with some of our ‘savings’ from unfilled positions.”

Instruction salaries still represent the district’s highest first quarter expenditure at $6.1 million, around 45% of its first-quarter spendings. Instruction costs as a whole, including employee benefits, purchased services and materials, are above $8.5 million.

The district sourced just above $8 million in revenue in the first quarter, about 13.3% of its budgeted revenue. It is slated to receive more than $27 million from property taxes and has collected just 0.6% of those funds so far, with the majority coming in the spring.

Proposition EE — an increase of taxes on nicotine funds — sourced nearly $1 million for the district. Those funds were partially allocated to building early childhood education infrastructure and the remainder, roughly $400,000, will be dedicated to one-time staff bonuses approved in the same meeting.

The bonuses will be $1,000 for full-time employees and then prorated for part-time workers. They are intended to help “make employees whole” until funds from the recently passed mill levy override for the purpose of increasing staff salaries begin arriving early in 2022, Markham said.

The district is projected to spend $11,726 per pupil and earn net revenues of $11,379 per pupil.

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