Budget and school construction updates from NCSD

(Natrona County, Wyo.) - Early this week the Natrona County School Board met for their July meeting. During the meeting, the Natrona County Association of Educational Support Staff (NCAESS) recognized Dr. Dean Braughton, Director of Student Support Services, as the recipient of the Administrator of the Year Award. In speaking of Dr. Braughton, co-workers stated, “Dr. Dean Braughton has spent his career building a school system that prepares students for vocations, post-secondary education, and life. He is the kind of leader who encourages and supports employees to grow and become leaders themselves.” Natrona County Schools and Oil City News would like to congratulate Dr. Braughton on this prestigious award. Also at the meeting, Dennis Bay, NCSD's Executive Director for Business Services, presented his monthly construction report. Pathways Innovation Center Roosevelt HS- District has occupancy. ProStart Culinary Arts program has begun summer school in the building. Kelly Walsh High School- Lower level PE, Track and Weight Room area has been completed. Move in from existing building is completed. Theatre renovation is continuing. Natrona County High School New East Bus loop is complete. SW Drama and temporary Music rooms work is finishing. Phase 4 punch list complete except Theatre and Drama. After receiving public comment the Board approved the 2016-17 Budget. The budget was developed through a multi-phase process that started in September 2015. The budget includes the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, the Capital Projects Fund, and the Food Service Fund. The NCSD budget reflects the impact of a 1% reduction in state funding included in the Wyoming State budget that was adopted by the legislature earlier this year. “The Wyoming Legislature continues to be very supportive of education through state funding. They have asked us to operate on 1% less in the year ahead. Natrona County School District is prepared to do our part given the current state of Wyoming's economy,” stated Board Chair Kevin Christopherson. The District's General Fund budget, for next year, reflects an overall year over year reduction of $4.4 million dollars or 2.1%. This includes the 1% reduction in state funding and the planned completion and winding down of district projects and programs. "We began preparing for this budget eighteen months ago when the state economy turned down. Every position was examined as it became vacant, allowing us to reduce staffing through attrition thus avoiding layoffs at this time. We are operating the District more efficiently and will continue to do so going forward”, commented Board Treasurer Paula Reid. The budget has been balanced through a combination of budget reduction strategies that draw on the eighteen months of preparation. They include the elimination of seventeen district-level positions through attrition not layoffs, reductions in operating budgets, and continued efforts, previously underway, to improve operational efficiency. Superintendent Steve Hopkins praised district employees, “The employees of the District get the credit for this budget. They came forward with great ideas on how to operate the District with less funding. They stepped up and rallied around the process to balance the budget.” The budget also includes the completion of the construction projects underway. These projects are funded by state and local resources set aside in previous years. This budget reflects the District's and State's commitment to the completion of these projects. Board Treasurer Paula Reid commented, "I do wish to thank all of the people who have been attending the budget meetings over the past year; your interaction with your staff and co-workers helped us get the word out that we were looking for ideas that would enable us to reduce our costs. We had many great ideas, some have been implemented in this budget and others are being looked at for the next budget. The employees have taken this to heart and have helped reduce utilities, overtime, supplies and various other costs". #oilcity #news