District 2 Trustees Approve 'Conservative' Budget

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Trustees this week approved a very conservative budget for Sheridan County School District 2 for the fiscal year that started on July 1.

Business Manager Eileen Bentley said the budget of just over $50.4 million is only about $432,000 more than last year.

The budget includes a 3 percent increase to salaries of the district's classifled staff and an increase of just under 3 percent to certified salaries. Salaries for administrative staff were increased by just under 2 percent.

Bentley said wages for the district's bus drivers were increased by an additional $1.65 per hour. Bentley said that was done because the bus drivers' jobs are very important and hard to fill, and the district needs to stay competitive with surrounding districts.

She said the budget also includes funds for three new school buses to replace current buses that are in bad shape.

Bentley's budget message to trustees noted that major maintenance and capital fund expenditures will increase this year due to the remodeling of Sagebrush Elementary School.

There also will be a modest increase in funds for food service as the district experiments with initiatives including better meal options, more meals prepared from scratch and the beginning of a “farm to school” program in the district.