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Quincy school board passes $74.14M budget

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | August 7, 2022 1:40 PM

QUINCY — The Quincy School District will operate with a budget of about $74.14 million for the 2022-23 school year. Quincy School Board members approved the budget, in part based on student enrollment, with a unanimous vote at the regular meeting July 26.

“It’s a crystal ball,” said Quincy superintendent Nik Bergman of the yearly enrollment projections. “You never know.”

Of the total, about $62.86 million is in the district’s general fund, which pays for most operations and maintenance.

State funding for education in Washington is based on the number of students in school. Quincy district officials are projecting district-wide enrollment will be the equivalent of 3,140 students.

The funding mechanism means that district officials must estimate enrollment before the school year begins.

“We budget very conservatively. We feel that’s the prudent thing,” Bergman said.

While some school districts saw student enrollment drop during the COVID-19 pandemic, Quincy didn’t, he said.

School budgets are broken into five separate funds, depending on the intended purpose. The district will spend about $7.26 million in its debt service fund. That fund pays for the bonds sold to finance construction.

The capital projects fund is projected at $2.5 million. The money is designated for construction projects, and for 2022-23 those include a new roof at Mountain View Elementary and upgrades to the heating-cooling system at Pioneer Elementary.

The Associated Student Body fund was budgeted at about $1.2 million. The Transportation Vehicle Fund was budgeted at $500,000 and includes the purchase of school buses.

The money school districts receive from the state and federal governments for education is supplemented by money raised through local levies, currently called educational programs and operations levies. Bergman cited the example of school psychologists.

Basic school support funding does include some money for psychologist services in schools, but for Quincy the state funding only covers one part-time position. Since Quincy district officials want more than one part-time school psychologist, money from the local levy is used to pay for additional staff, Bergman said. Levy money also pays for some school nursing and counseling services, among other things. The budget includes about 10 positions, teachers or other professional positions, that are funded in part through the local levy.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com. Read more of her work on the Columbia Basin Herald app, available on Apple and Android devices.

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