Rainier Class of 2019

The Rainier Class of 2019 celebrates in this Nisqually Valley News file photo. 

The Rainier School Board on Wednesday, July 24, unanimously passed the 2019-2020 school year budget, a document detailing nearly $11,921,000 in revenue and $11,992,000 in expenditures. 

According to a budget report provided by Business Manager Debi Holmes, the school district will begin the school year with a fund balance of $1.9 million and is projected to end the year with around $1.76 million. 

Despite worries that the district would have to cut back on its staff, Holmes and Superintendent Bryon Bahr said the district is no longer considering layoffs but is reconsidering whether or not to renew a few positions. 

”At this point it looks like we’ll be retaining most of our certificated staff. We’re not sure if we’re going to be bringing back some classified staff,” she said. 

The district is budgeted to start the school year with 35 classified staff and 58 certified staff — that’s four fewer classified positions than last school year and one fewer for certified staff. 

Holmes said the district is expected to spend about $1 million more this year on salaries and benefits. That increase in spending is also expected to come from a 3 percent increase in materials, supplies and operational expenditures. 

The largest chunk of the district’s budget will be spent on funding basic education programs. The expense comes out to roughly $6.18 million in spending to fulfill that, or 52 percent of the district’s budget. The district will spend over $1.4 million on special education programs. 

When looking at expenses of programs, the district is projected to spend about 76 percent of its budget on certified salaries, classified salaries and benefits. 

Rainier School District also approved roughly $350,000 of capital fund projects funded by last year’s budget that will be used for paving projects, small athletic facilities enhancements and site repairs. 

Upgrades to the athletic facilities include replacing the baseball field’s fencing, grass fields and dugouts. Extensive paving projects will focus primarily around the lot between the middle school and high school. 

The deadline for second-class districts to pass their budgets was Aug. 1, Holmes said. 

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