School board approves augmented budget

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Lander County School District Board of Trustees held a meeting in the district office at the Mary S. Black building. The board voted to approve an augmented budget for 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The school board started the meeting by approving the payment of bills and warrants for accounts payable on Nov. 30, to Dec. 7 and 8 for regular payroll totaling $501,195.46. The board also approved the hiring of a new half-time janitor at Austin Schools as part of the consent agenda. Hiring a janitor at Austin was already in the budget and the board approved Jolene Sonner for the position. Sonner is also working on her bus license for Austin schools.

“If we had a bus driver, we wouldn’t be losing three kids in Austin due to home-schooling,” stated Principal Toby Melver to the board.

Austin Schools started the year with approximately 22 students, but enrollment has now dropped into the single digits. Families in Austin have transferred their children into schools in Eureka or Nye County, started home-schooling or moved away from the area because Austin Schools has only one teacher. School board members appeared determined to correct Austin Schools’ issues.

District Financial Officer Nan Ancho talked to the board about the augmented budget and mentioned the school district is not expecting any new revenue for this past year. The budget contained one fund, including debt service, requiring property tax revenues totaling $10,867,511. The augmented budget also contained 11 governmental fund types with an estimated expenditure of $15,156,482 and a proprietary fund with estimated expenses of $1,285,360.

“We are not expecting any new revenue, and we only have the ending fund balance to replace what we had to cut out this year. On our net proceeds, we had an additional $19,000 for the fiscal year 2016-17 that we could use this year,” Ancho explained to the board. “Our general fund total is up $1,066,558 from the final budget. We are on the right track, moving forward.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the augmented budget for the 2017-2018 school year. 

The board also approved the yearly review of the Indian policy 006.4. This policy states that Indian American children in Lander County School District will “have have equal access to all programs, services, and activities offered in the school district.”

The policy has not changed, and board discussion was minimal. The board voted unanimously to approve the policy for the next school year.