Conservative budgeting and increasing enrollment are adding bright colors to the North Powder School District’s budget picture — and aiding in the construction of its new high school.

The North Powder School Board is set to soon adopt a general fund budget of $4.211 million for 2018-19, up about $330,000 from the current year’s budget.

“This will allow us to maintain our programs and staff,” said North Powder Superintendent Lance Dixon.

The North Powder School Board will vote on adoption of the proposed budget when it meets June 19.

The school district’s financial situation is solid in part because the school board approved last year’s budget of $3.882 million on the assumption that the Legislature would provide the state’s school districts with $7.8 billion in the 2017-19 biennium. The Legislature later voted to provide $8.2 billion, which meant that the North Powder School District received more funding in 2017-18 than it had budgeted for.

“We budgeted lower (a year ago),” Dixon said.

The school district’s budget was further brightened by an enrollment increase of 11 students, boosting its number of pupils to 285. School districts receive about $7,000 per student from the state.

The proposed budget would allow the school district to maintain all of its programs and staff.

The school district’s revenue was strong enough that it was able to put $200,000 into its capital projects budget. This money will be combined with $200,000 the school district added to its capital projects fund in 2016-17 to cover cost increases for the construction of the district’s new high school.

See complete story in Friday's Observer