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General education budget close to $15 million in Grandview

GRANDVIEW - Grandview School Board officials are expected to approve the 2008-09 budget at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Aug. 25.

One of the most significant increases this year is in the transportation budget. According to the district's chief financial officer, Brad Shreeve, an increase of $25,000 has been factored in to meet the rising costs of fuel.

"We use about 20,000 gallons of diesel a year," said Shreeve, adding that the district factored in $5 per gallon for diesel.

One of the biggest challenges to the budget this year was an increase in benefits, chiefly retirement rates. The retirement rates paid by the district for classified staff increased to 7.54 percent from 5.9 percent, which equated to a 28 percent increase. This is especially challenging given that most classified staff are funded by grants that did not increase at the same rate as salaries and benefits. Shreeve said that retirement rates paid by the district for teachers increased by 45 percent.

All told, the school district expects to pay $7,416,813 in medical, dental, social security and retirement benefits for staff.

"The benefits are 22.54 percent of the overall budget," Shreeve said.

There is a 5.13 percent salary increase across the board for teachers for cost of living. For classified staff, there is a 5.4 percent increase in salary.

In terms of student enrollment, officials are expecting an increase from 2007-08's figure of 3,107 students to 3,169 for 2008-09.

The school district will also increase staffing from last year, up just over three certificated employees and four additional classified employees.

Local tax revenues are expected to increase from $865,750 to $907,300. The levy amount collected from voters in the district is expected to be $945,000.

The school district is expected to receive $19,580,972 from the state and $6,511,695 in special purpose funds. Federal assistance is gauged at $100,000 for 2008-09.

The district plans to spend $14,859,248 on regular education this coming school year, $2,969,096 on special education and $1,545,155 on vocational education.

Non-tax local support is projected to be $526,088. This money is collected from areas like school food service, driver's education and unassigned tuition fees.

The school district received a science grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for $72,000, which will be used to fund a science coach for the district. OSPI also funded a couple peer coaching grants. The district also received a technology grant that will be used to train teachers on technology in the classroom.

There is no grant funding for a police officer in the school, so the district will pay $60,000 toward that position. That is 75 percent of the total cost for the SRO, the city will pay the other 25 percent.

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