Higher than anticipated funding from the state will help the Elgin School District in a big way in 2019-20.
The school district was facing a $123,000 shortfall in May but will be able to balance its 2019-20 budget without making any layoffs or program cuts thanks in part to a more substantial state education budget than expected and an increase in Measure 98 funding.
The increases allowed the school board to adopt a budget for 2019-20 of $6.62 million Monday night that does not call for layoffs or reductions in services.
“Our programs and staff are intact,” said Elgin School District Superintendent Dianne Greif following Monday’s meeting.
The school district’s budget was built this spring on the assumption that the Legislature’s 2019-21 education budget would be $8.9 billion but the Legislature recently passed a $9 billion budget for the biennium.
Another bonus for Elgin is that the Legislature has boosted its Measure 98 funding. Measure 98, which voters approved in 2016, mandates that the state provide schools with additional funding for dropout prevention, improved graduation rates and career technical education. The Legislature recently increased the Measure 98 funding it will provide school districts in 2019-21.
The budget adopted Monday also calls for the school district not to fill 1.6 classified staff positions that are open because of a retirement and a resignation, further saving the district money. Classified staff includes secretaries, custodians, teaching assistants and cooks.
The school district’s financial situation has gotten tighter in recent years due to a loss of state funding from a program for small rural schools. The district had been receiving at least $238,000 a year in this funding until 2017-18, when Elgin’s enrollment became too high for it to qualify.
The enrollment increase has not come close to helping the school district make up for its loss in funding from the program for small rural schools, Greif told The Observer in a previous interview.
The school district received about $42,000 a year in additional funding in 2017-18 and 2018-19 due to the enrollment increase. The increase is due to the fact that school districts receive about $7,000 a year from the state per student.
Additional action items at Monday’s meeting included the hiring of a new maintenance director and a new food services supervisor.
Kerry Eckstein, who currently works for the Boise Cascade plant in Elgin, was named the new maintenance supervisor. Eckstein will succeed Dave Milner who will retire this summer after working for 27 years for the Elgin School District.
The school board hired Kim Van Cleave as the district’s food services supervisor. Van Cleave has served as the Imbler School District’s food services supervisor for four years. She and her mother previously operated a restaurant in Elgin, Greif said. Van Cleave will succeed Stanna Rysdam who worked for the Elgin School District for 33 years.