A nearly $157 million operating budget being lined up for this coming year for Monongalia County Schools also carries a line item reflective of the generosity Mon’s voters have afforded the district over the years.
Board of Education members moved to advance the document during their regular meeting Tuesday night.
Included among its ledgers is a $34 million outlay from the excess levy for education, which traditionally sails through in the affirmative on the ballot, come election time.
Said levy allows the district to present unique offerings such as beginning Mandarin in the elementary grades — plus a schedule full of Advanced Placement instruction in a variety of subjects for high school.
Add to that the $35 million generated by the regular levy, which totals to nearly $70 million for the district, from those coffers alone.
Nicole Kemper, the district’s treasurer, gave the breakdown.
The board passed the document unanimously after her presentation.
Meanwhile, the new budget comes in at $11 million over the current one.
It also reflects an across-the-board $2,300 pay raise for all state public employees that was voted in during this year’s Legislative session.
Some 81% of the budget, Kemper said, is earmarked for salaries and other employee benefits.
With the district about to embark on the $72 million Renaissance Academy project — the standalone school will exclusively offer career education instruction to students in Mon’s three public high schools — the budget also carries a $10 million outlay for infrastructure improvements.
Those are dollars that won’t be permitted to be shifted or used for any project or need other than school renovations, Kemper said.
Projects already in the works in that fund, she reported, include $2 million in HVAC, boiler and roof upgrades across the district.
An addition to the district’s EXCEL center, plus an upgrade of the Safe Schools entrance at North Elementary, are coming at $5.5 million, collectively.
Look for another $14 million to be steered to transportation, Kemper said, citing numerous inflation factors in school bus maintenance.
That includes higher costs for diesel fuel and replacement parts, she said, not to mention the purchase of new vehicles.
Visit https://boe.mono.k12.wv.us/departments/financial-services/financial-services-info to view the operating budget online.