Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education approved the 2017-18 budget on June 28 with a combined total budget appropriation of $189 million. Of the district’s 12 funds, the building fund and general fund are the two largest funds with appropriations of $89 million and $67 million, respectively.
The building fund is a temporary fund established to account for the proceeds of the $122 million bond issue authorized by voters in November 2015. The majority of bond projects are scheduled to be completed by December 2017, with a handful of projects carrying into 2018 including staff housing and the completion of Glenwood Springs Elementary School’s addition and renovation.
The general fund accounts for almost all school operations and related support functions of the district, and its budget incorporates an increase in revenues of about $2.3 million over projected current year amounts, comprised primarily of the following:
A per-pupil funding increase of about 3.3% under the State’s School Finance Act, totaling about $1,373,000. This funding comes from a combination of local property taxes and state taxes.
About $1.2 million of the per-pupil funding increase will be applied to salaries and benefits, including a 1.8% average wage increase for employees; a 6% increase in district-funded health insurance costs; and a 0.5% increase in the required contribution to PERA (Colorado’s retirement plan for public employees). The remaining increase in per pupil operating funds will cover other inflationary costs and start-up expenditures associated with Riverview School.
A one-time allocation from the state of $951,000 under the Sustainability of Rural Colorado Act (the Act) passed by the legislature in May 2017. The Act includes funding to assist rural areas of Colorado in a number of areas including hospitals, education, and roads. Once additional guidance is received from the Colorado Department of Education, the Board of Education will develop a process for determining how the funds will be spent to address priorities established under the Act.
A complete copy of the budget can be found on the District’s website at www.rfschools.com.