School district presents preliminary budget

BIG PINEY –Budget season is around the corner – a busy time for school district business offices. The Sublette County School District No. 9 Board of Trustees got a preliminary look at next year's figures from Amy Anschutz, the district's chief financial officer, at the April 20 regular meeting.

State statute requires the district to post a preliminary budget by May 15, Anschutz explained. Because the school board typically holds its regular meeting after May 15, the business office releases the preliminary budget in April, Anschutz added.

Due to factors beyond the district's control, Anschutz cautioned the board that the numbers will "change radically" between April and the final budget presented before the next fiscal year.

The district is waiting for the Sublette County Assessor's Office to release county property tax assessments, Anschutz told the board. Figures from the assessor are expected in late May or early June, Anschutz added.

The Wyoming Department of Education is also holding onto its preliminary funding models, Anschutz said, as the agency waits for several final reports to come in.

Senate File 60, passed this legislative season, changed the way ad valorem taxes are assessed on mineral production, adding another challenge to education budgeting, Anschutz told the Examiner.

School District No. 9's business office is forced to use what is available and make its best educated guesses to come up with figures in the preliminary budget, Anschutz said. She stated to the board that the district expected the rolling average in attendance to continue declining, negatively affecting funding tied to the aggregate membership days, or ADM, model.

School District No. 9's business office has planned ahead for projected revenue shortfalls and declining enrollment, Anschutz said. The district is not planning any capital construction projects next year, Anschutz added.

Board chairman John Fear appointed trustees Alan Vickrey and Cody Raza to the budget deliberation committee during the meeting.

Other board news

  • The trustees approved setting Graduation Day at Big Piney High School on Friday, May 28 at 10 a.m. Administration plans for the ceremony to take place on Puncher Field, weather permitting.
  • BPHS Principal and Activities Director Jeff Makelky reported on the Wyoming High School Activities Association's proposal to establish a new classification system based on a school's population rather than an emphasis on maintaining an even number of teams in each region. Makelky said the proposal would keep Big Piney in the 2A classification. The new system was approved by four regions in the state, and will go before the WHSAA board of directors for final approval, Makelky added.
  • District Superintendent Kevin Garvey reported that attendance was holding steady at 466 students.
  • The board voted to pass on first reading a new policy on entrance age requirements for kindergarten students. Garvey explained that the policy reflected changes in state statute enacted by the legislature this year.
  • The trustees unanimously voted to approve Kinsy Voss as the new head volleyball coach at BPHS.