Will the new legislative budget impact Park City schools? | ParkRecord.com

Will the new legislative budget impact Park City schools?

by Dale Thompson

Park City School District officials recently learned how the recently approved legislative budget will effect schools.

Superintendent, Dave Adamson, was pleased to see the Weighted Pupil Unit, or the amount spent per child, increase by six percent.

He said the WPU from the state makes up one-third of the district’s total budget.

Other welcome increases he include a state-wide $8.4 million for transportation.

"We got an increase in the transportation budget, most of that increase is in one-time money but I hope to see that extend in the following year," Adamson said.

Business Administrator, Von Hortin, said $325,000 was allotted for an increase in social security and retirement, and said the percentage of what Park City has to pay into the retirement system is also on the rise.

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"There’s a lot of things I wish they would have funded, I wish they would have done the state-requested math program," he said.

Adamson agreed that he is disappointed with the way the state chose to address math remediation for grades 4-6. The legislature elected to use a merit-based pay system for math teachers, full details of the program have not yet been established.

The new legislative budget has a minimal effect on the district, Adamson said.

"I don’t think there’s a huge impact for Park City on these things, it’s more fine tuning the system," he said, although some reading initiatives took a hit.

Past Utah Governor Olene Walker implemented a K-3 reading program three years ago, and it fell by the wayside with the new budget.

"That program did not get funded this year. We’ve used that money for some summer school reading assistance but that money is gone now," Adamson said.

On a whole Hortin says the budget projects $1.6 million in additional money, with $1.2 million in WPU funds.

"It should equate to some decent raises for teachers," Hortin said, adding that it will also be used to strengthen academic programs for students.

Hortin said discussions have begun with the school board to determine how some of the funds will be put to use.

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