Washington Has Largest School Budget in Area - The Missourian: County

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Washington Has Largest School Budget in Area

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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:00 pm

With the most students enrolled, buildings to maintain and staff on its payroll, the Washington School District has the largest budget of any public school system in Franklin County, followed by Meramec Valley and Union.

School districts were required to adopt a budget prior to July 1. The Missourian compiled information from area public schools for comparison purposes.

Washington

The Washington School District has a $58.8 million spending plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The new budget reflects total revenue projections of $51,610,323.47, and operating expenditures of $58,881,113.50.

Expenditures include bond issue monies received, but not yet spent. The district will complete several construction projects this coming year, as well as maintenance of facilities, repair and extensive roof projects.

Washington will deficit spend about $2.1 million, but the budget projects an ending reserve balance of 28.52 percent.

The district serves more than 4,000 students from all or part of six different areas, including Marthasville, Augusta, Labadie, New Haven area, Union area and Washington. Its boundaries take in parts of three counties — Franklin, Warren and St. Charles.

The district operates an early childhood special education program, preschool program, eight elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.

In addition, Washington hosts the Four Rivers Career Center, a technical/trade school for students in the district and surrounding areas. The district also has a large warehouse and technology learning center.

The district will open its new 25,000-square-foot Early Learning Center next month, which will combine the Parents as Teachers, early childhood special education program and all in-town preschools under one roof.

The district’s work force totals over 600 employees.

Meramec Valley

The Meramec Valley School District, which has its administrative offices in Pacific, had an enrollment of 3,153 this past year.

Meramec has five elementary schools, a middle school, an eighth-grade center and high school. It also operates a community school for early childhood special education and an early childhood education center.

The district has approximately 460 staff members

For 2014-15, the district projects expenditures of $43,426,534 and $35,634,110 in revenue.

Of the $7.7 million difference, district officials said $5.6 million is money remaining from Proposition M, which is being spent on a high school expansion project currently in progress.

That construction project will add a new 13,780-square-foot cafeteria, food service area, a 5,290-square-foot vestibule and lobby, along with a 3,245-square-foot administrative suite that includes a nurse station and sickroom at the high school.

The remaining $2 million is considered deficit spending, which is covered by the district’s reserves.

Union School District

Following closely behind Meramec Valley, is the Union School District, which has a $33,395,336 spending plan. The budget includes $1.2 million in bond issue monies.

Revenue projections for 2014-15 are $30,567,609.

District patrons passed a bond issue in April 2013 for major improvements and upgrades to buildings throughout the district. Some of that money is being carried over to complete the projects.

The budget does include minimal deficit spending, around $750,000, which also is covered through the district’s reserve funds.

The Union School District has approximately 3,076 students and 380 employees.

It operates three elementary schools, an early childhood special education program, one middle school and one high school, for a total of six school buildings.

St. Clair R-XIII

The St. Clair Board of Education approved a budget of $20.24 million, about $414,000 higher than what the projected revenue will be for the year.

Projected revenues are $19.83 million.

The St. Clair School District serves approximately 2,200 students with more than 400 employees.

It has five school buildings — one high school, a junior high, two elementary schools and the Franklin County Cooperative. The district also has one apartment building and uses four modular buildings for high school classrooms. Two annex buildings are used for alternative education and maintenance.

Currently, there are no major construction projects in the district.

St. Clair’s numbers do not include the Franklin County Cooperative, which falls under its jurisdiction. The co-op’s projected expenses are $3.53 million with revenue expected in the neighborhood of $3.54 million.

New Haven

New Haven Public School, a K-12 district, has a spending plan of $5,012,298 for the 2014-15 fiscal year, with revenue projected at $4,983,935.

The district has two buildings that serve approximately 490 students. There are about 84 teachers.

Also in the New Haven area is the Franklin County R-II School District, which serves kindergarten through eighth grade.

Expenditures for New Haven R-II are $2,150,973 and revenue is projected at $2,111,106.

Carol Laboube, principal, noted that when students attend surrounding high schools, the district pays tuition to those schools.

New Haven R-II has an estimated $39,000 in capital spending for technology updates this coming year.

The district has a total of 128 students in one school building. There are an additional 73 high school students that the district pays tuition for.

The district employs approximately 26 teachers and support staff.

Lonedell

Another K-8 school district is Lonedell R-XIV.

The Lonedell School Board approved a $4.717 million budget for 2014-15. Revenue is projected to be $4.532 million.

The budget marks the fourth year in a row the district has operated in the red, according to Jen Ulrich, Lonedell superintendent.

The district serves approximately 306 students in one school. It also has an additional 20 preschool students on site. It employs about 55 staff members.

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