The Dolores school board met in a special meeting Tuesday to set a date for its board retreat, approve the preliminary 2018-2019 budget and vote on hiring a dean of students.
The board unanimously passed the $13.4 million budget with a 4-0 vote. Board Treasurer Casey McClellan was absent for “a personal problem.”
After focus in their budget workshop centered on teacher salaries, Financial Director Doreen Jones said she had met with most everyone on the board for an opinion on pay for student teachers and Boettcher residents.
“The consensus was you as a board felt comfortable giving a stipend similar to what Durango does,” Jones said.
“It will be a $5,500 stipend.”
Sharon Maxwell, field manager for the Boettcher teacher residency program, said four Boettcher teachers are headed to Dolores this school year.
Superintendent Scott Cooper and Interim Superintendent Phil Kasper attended the board meeting. Kasper said he had some questions from some community members about the budget and asked Jones to speak to the nature of the budget the board was discussing.
“The fiscal year starts July 1; however, our budget is based on a student count which we take in October,” Jones said. “In January, we have to do a final budget when you know what your student count was.”
The per pupil student count funding from the state of Colorado is based on 696.1 students for Dolores. According to Jones, funding will be $8,126 per student.
Jones estimated that carryover from the previous fiscal year would be $373,343 However, that number includes received grant revenues for the student-based health clinic and the early literacy grant.
“We do not have a carryover. We are actually $46,517 in the hole,” Jones said.
“The $233,000 that is in the proposed 2018-2019 budget is truly a deficit of $233,000.”
Jones went over each line item with the board, explaining where cuts had been made and where there was room for change. Jones told the board that all substitute salaries were lowered and the utilities and fuel line items had a “buffer” built in because of changing costs.
Board Secretary Deanna Truelsen made the motion to approve the 2018-2019 budget. It was seconded by Vice President Kay Phelps.
The school board then moved into executive session to discuss personnel matters. At the outset of the session, the board approved John Marchino as the dean of students for the Dolores School District Re-4A.
The board also set its retreat for Aug. 1, at a time and place to be determined.