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New challenges impact education funding in county
May 02, 2013 | 594 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

BY LOUISE R. SHAW

Clipper Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — What appeared to be a good year for education funding is now looking altogether different.

With the announcement last week that Ogden School District is laying off 20 media specialists and librarians, questions have arisen about the health of district budgets.

The Utah Legislature approved a 2 percent increase in the weighted per pupil unit during the past legislative session. 

To Davis School District, that increase, together with the increase from growth, means another $8.8 million for the 2013-14 budget, said Shauna Lund, community relations specialist.

But of the 2 percent increase, 1.2 percent is needed to cover retirement costs, she said. 

Increases in retirement and insurance costs, the impact of sequestration and the Affordable Health Care Act are all making a significant impact on budgets, said Lund.

“We will also face cuts in our Title I and Title II funds, our impact aid funds and special education funds,”  Lund wrote in an email. “However, services like special education are mandated, so we can’t cut those services.”

Negotiations between the district and the associations representing teachers and classified employees are ongoing.

Insurance negotiations are also being discussed, according to Lund.

“It is still early in our budgeting process so exact cuts are not known at this time,” said Lund. “At this point, we’re still trying to balance the budget.”

As has happened over the past three years, Lund told the Clipper that positions that are vacated through retirement or by people moving may not be filled if the work can be assigned to other employees or combined with other responsibilities, she said.  

A proposed budget will be presented to the Davis School Board in a workshop on June 4, and a vote on its adoption is expected on June 18.

lshaw@davisclipper.com

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