School district adopts $32.5M budget |

School district adopts $32.5M budget

With very little fanfare, and no public comment, Nevada Joint Union High School District trustees Wednesday night unanimously approved a $32.5 million spending plan for the 2004-05 school year.

The budget represents a slight increase over last year’s budget, made possible by cost-of-living increases given to the 4,200-student district by the state of California.

The state did not give the school district a cost-of-living spending increase for the 2003-04 school year but has granted the county’s largest school district a 3.3 percent increase in financing this year, said Julie Hopkins, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

The increase in state financing comes in part from a boost in per-pupil funding granted to the district from the state. The high school district is paid more than $4,000 for each student in the district, which accounts for about half of the district’s yearly budget.

The boost in per-pupil funding comes as the district anticipates a sixth straight year of declining enrollment. According to budget estimates, the Nevada Joint Union High School District is expected to lose 23 students in the 2004-05 school year. The district is estimating an enrollment of 4,191 students when school resumes in mid-August.

The district’s attendance peaked at 4,559 students in 1998-99.

“Now, getting money from the state will help offset our declining enrollment,” Hopkins said. That will be crucial in the next three years, as the district prepares to replace as many as 65 teachers – 30 percent of the district’s certificated work force – who are due to retire between now and 2007. Many of those teachers are at or near the top of their salary ranges.

“We have to be prepared for that,” Hopkins said.

Approximately 80 percent of the district’s general fund budget is used to pay for salaries and benefits each year.

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