YUHSD board ap­proves $73M bud­get

Also hears about Kofa ren­o­va­tions

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY AMY CRAW­FORD SUN STAFF WRITER

The Yuma Union High School District passed its 2018-2019 bud­get of $73,317,458 Wednes­day evening.

Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Neil Brown led the board through the doc­u­ment at the board’s pub­lic hear­ing be­fore the monthly busi­ness meet­ing in the li­brary of Yuma High School.

“Our M&O bud­get in­creased by 6.1 per­cent, which was $4,239,759,” Brown ex­plained to board mem­bers David Lara, Teri Brooks and pres­i­dent Phil Townsend. Shel­ley Mel­lon at­tended the meet­ing by phone con­fer­ence call. Bruce Gwynn was ab­sent.

Brown also pointed out the new box on the bud­get form for re­port­ing av­er­age teacher salary, which for fis­cal year (FY) 2019 will be $48,601, an in­crease of 11 per­cent over FY2018, or $4,873.

“Of that 11 per­cent, there is an ad­di­tional 1 per­cent that’s an in­crease that will be given through the teacher base pay and with that 1 per­cent that equals 12 per­cent that is given to the teach­ers,” Brown said.

The av­er­age salary does not in­clude Prop 301 funds or monies from reser­va­tion gam­ing.

Prop 301, also known as Class­room Site Funds, was passed in 2000, in­creas­ing the state sales tax 0.6 per­cent with the funds go­ing to sup­port K-12 ed­u­ca­tion. The district had a nearly 16 per­cent in­crease in Prop 301 dol­lars, due to an in­crease in state tax rev­enues.

Brown also noted that the dis-

trict is be­ing con­sis­tent in its def­i­ni­tion of teacher, “which in­cludes not only class­room teach­ers but other cer­ti­fied em­ploy­ees such as coun­selors, in­struc­tional coaches, some li­brar­i­ans and nurses.”

In its District Ad­di­tional As­sis­tance fund, the district plans to ex­pend $7,364,703 in prop­erty and books and in­struc­tional aids: $100,000 for li­brary books, text­books and in­struc­tional aids; $500,000 for tech­nol­ogy hard­ware and soft­ware; $850,000 for ve­hi­cles; and $5,914,703 for fur­ni­ture and equip­ment.

The district’s debt ser­vice bud­get re­mains un­changed from FY2018.

The district does not ex­pect any changes to its pri­mary and sec­ondary prop­erty tax levies, Brown said.

Board mem­ber Lara asked about the es­ti­mated rev­enues by source for FY2018, won­der­ing where the “in­ter­me­di­ate” dol­lars came from. Lara also ques­tioned if the prop­erty taxes re­ceived could be bro­ken down by city and/or res­i­den­tial area.

Brown said he would get back to Lara at a later date be­cause he wanted to get more clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

The bud­get hear­ing was ad­journed with no com­ment from the pub­lic. The bud­get later passed dur­ing the reg­u­lar busi­ness meet­ing on a 4-0 vote.

Board mem­bers also heard an up­date on bond projects at Kofa High School from Fa­cil­i­ties Di­rec­tor Jay Munoz.

“So far they’re keep­ing on track with that, so they’re do­ing a great job,” Munoz said of the DLR Group and McCarthy Con­struc­tion, the con­trac­tors for the site.

Kofa is get­ting 37,792 square feet of new con­struc­tion, in­clud­ing a new class­room build­ing and a new aux­il­iary gym. Ren­o­va­tions in­clude 21,673 square feet with a new culi­nary arts kitchen and din­ing area; a new book store; the “600s” build­ing will host ca­reer and tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams. The ren­o­va­tions also in­clude im­prove­ments and rerout­ing of HVAC un­der­ground pip­ing and chiller plant pumps up­grade.

Some of the ren­o­va­tions and new build­ings are re­plac­ing build­ings that are orig­i­nal to the cam­pus, Munoz said, which was built in the mid-1950s.

Other con­struc­tion the district is con­duct­ing in the same area as Kofa is near­ing com­ple­tion: a new build­ing for Vista High School, which will be open for the new school year, and new ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices, both on the cor­ner of Av­enue A and 32nd Street. Those projects are be­ing built by CORE Con­struc­tion, with BWS Ar­chi­tects/ Thomp­son De­sign Ar­chi­tects on de­sign.

Board mem­bers also re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion to the pre­miere of a doc­u­men­tary about Ready Now Yuma, which will be at 5:30 p.m. July 17 at Re­gency Cin­e­mas down­town.

The board will next meet at noon July 18 for a spe­cial meet­ing and noon July 25, mainly to ap­prove per­son­nel re­ports among other items, Su­per­in­ten­dent Gina Thomp­son said.

“We want to get those teach­ers go­ing in the class­room,” she ex­plained, as school starts Aug. 2.

Buy this photo at Yu­maSun.com PHOTO BY RANDY HOEFT/YUMA SUN

FI­NAL TOUCHES ARE BE­ING PUT ON THE NEW YUMA UNION HIGH SCHOOL District No. 70 district of­fices at 3150-A S. Av­enue A.

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