31,371 students and growing; school board considers $211 million budget

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Washington County School District Board of Education is considering a proposed $211 million maintenance and operations budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 to fund a rapidly growing number of new students, district administrator Brent Bills told the board at a regular meeting Tuesday.

Chart of expenditures for the Washington County School District’s proposed 2017-2018 budget | Image courtesy of Washington County School District, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

The district expects to receive a 4 percent increase in state funding and a 3 percent increase in property tax revenue from new growth, Bills said, which will help along with a projected 1,200 new students. There are currently 31,371 students enrolled in schools within the district.

“We’re at just over 4 percent growth,” Bills said.

From Oct. 1, 2016, until January of this year, almost 500 new students, kindergarten to 12th grade, enrolled in the district, District Superintendent Larry Bergeson said at an earlier board meeting. From Oct. 1, 2015, until January, almost 1,700 new students have entered the Washington County School District.

Next year, the district will issue $55 million in bonds in addition to the $35 million in bonds issued in 2016 to continue construction of three new schools: Majestic Fields Elementary, Crimson Middle School and Crimson High School.

Bills also presented the closing 2016-2017 budget – a $199.4 million budget – to the board; the figure is up from the $193.8 million that was projected in June 2016.

The 2017-2018 budget is open for a 30-day review by the public; residents can view both the 2016-2017 final budget and the proposed 2017-2018 budget here.

To view the budget on the school district website, go here. To comment, residents can contact the district through the website here, or contact individual school board members here.

Other business

Members of the Washington County School District Board of Education thank a room full of retiring teachers and other employees at a board meeting Tuesday, St. George, Utah, May 10, 2017 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

In other business, the board made changes to policies pertaining to employee leave and graduation requirements and honored 86 district employees who are retiring.

“Throughout your careers, you have been entrusted with some of the most worthwhile work in the world, challenging young minds, providing an environment conducive to learning and preparing your students to become lifelong learners,” Bergeson told the retiring employees.

“We are sincerely grateful for your act of stewardship.”

The board also honored 66 employees for years-of-service milestones.

“We thank you for your commitment to our students and to public education,” Bergeson said.

Ed. note: Edited to clarify budget terms.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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2 Comments

  • utahdiablo May 10, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    How about adding a “Impact Fee” to all the thousands of new homes being built here every year to help pay for these school funds, as a long time local, my property taxes continue to increase 10 – 20% each year for the school fund alone….let the newcomers pay the majority of the new burden they are adding to our county’s budget instead of screwing the longtime residents…

  • DRT May 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many students leave the system per year. This would be from graduation, moving away, death, or dropouts.
    I’m sure it isn’t anywhere near what the growth is, but I wonder if it is taken into consideration, when they publish the growth statistics.

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