Mancos School District board members unanimously approved a $4.3 million budget for the 2017-2018 school year at a special meeting May 31.
“The budget is balanced,” Superintendent Brian Hanson said.
Per-student funding from the state will be about $8,570, an increase of just under $300 per student from last year, according to district budget documents.
Board members also voted to approve an updated salary schedule for all district employees.
The minimum starting salary for a licensed teacher in the Mancos district will be $30,820 per year, according to district documents. Teachers may earn more depending on the type of degree they earned and the amount of continuing education or training they have completed. The maximum salary, for a person with a master’s degree and 40 credit hours of continuing education, is $52,445 annually.
For administrators, the secondary principal and elementary principal will have the same salary schedule. The minimum yearly salary for those positions is $61,106, and the maximum salary is $77,906. For the dean of students, the minimum is $48,483 annually and the maximum is $60,481.
Hanson said the district was able to increase the salary schedule while covering an insurance increase at no cost to employees.
Board member Tim Hunter said he was glad the district was able to emphasize teachers, and board member Monty Guiles agreed. “It’s about time,” Guiles said of the salary update.
In addition to staff salary increases, another priority for the budget will be technology upgrades. The district plans to spend $44,000 on Chromebook computers for students, according to district documents.
The computers will be paid for through a state payout to rural school districts through Senate Bill 267, passed in May. The bill will pay $30 million in marijuana tax revenues to rural school districts, and the share for Mancos School District is about $167,000.
With the purchase, every student in grades 6 to 12 will have a Chromebook, Hanson said. The Senate Bill 267 funds also will go toward purchases of new wrestling mats and chemical cabinets, as well as an upgrade to the school’s workshop and maintenance area.
Also at the meeting, Hanson said the district was able to carry over some funds from last year’s budget to account for a $217,000 property purchase. The district purchased a lot just west of the school’s campus, with a long-term plan to move the home currently located on the lot and convert the lot into a parking area for staff and students. The parking area is part of a master plan for campus upgrades, for which the Mancos district is pursuing a state grant.
The State Board of Education will consider the Mancos School District Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) project at its regular meeting next Wednesday and Thursday. The BEST grant board recommended the $19.8 million Mancos project for approval last month, and the state board will have the final say.