Wahluke School District adopts 2019-2020 budget

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MATTAWA — The Wahluke School District board approved the 2019-2020 budget during a special board meeting on Monday, Aug. 26.

The school district divides their budget into five basic categories – the general, Associated Student Body (ASB), debt service, capital projects and transportation vehicle.

The school district expects to receive over $38,529,817 into the general fund and expects to spend $38,019,601. The beginning balance for this school is $4,441,057. The expected ending balance is $4,951,273.

The ASB fund is starting the school year at $229,371. They expect to receive $404,401 and spend $400,550, ending the year with $233,222.

“The ASB fund is expenses for student activities,” said Tracy Plouse, Director of Finance and Operations for the Wahluke School District.

The debt service fund is used to make bond and principal payments.

“Our last payment will be made in December,” Plouse said. “Then the high school will be paid for.”

This fund is starting the year at $746,675. The district expects to receive $522,390 and spend $1,208,500, ending the year at $60,565.

Major repairs, facility additions and remodeling are paid for out of the capital projects fund. The school year is being started with $91,084. The district expects to receive only $910 into this fund this year, but expects to spend $90,000. They project ending the year with $1,994 in this fund.

The transportation vehicle fund is used to purchase new school buses and to pay for major bus repairs. For the first 13 years of a bus’ life, the state pays school districts depreciation money. The state expects districts to replace buses every 13 years.

“We have a pretty old fleet,” said Plouse. “We are only receiving depreciation for half of our buses.”

Currently, the district has five new buses on order. They expect to take possession of them in November.

The district expects to receive $847,946 for new buses this year and to spend $727,552. They are starting the year with $103,728 and expect to end the year with $224,122.

Using the enrollment formula laid out by the state, the Wahluke School District is predicting 2,345.8 students for this school year.

“Our current enrollment is 2,477 students,” said Plouse. “We don’t know if they will all show up on the first day of school.”

School funding for the first half of the school year is based off of the estimated student enrollment. The second half is funded by the actual student count.

“I like to be conservative,” Plouse said. “I’d rather get extra money instead of having to give some back.”

The district is budgeting $17,578,160 for basic instruction for the school year.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rpinkerton@suntribunenews.com.

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