Our Board of Education has prioritized salary increases for our staff, and in the 2017-2018 school year, we increased salaries and benefits by 8.58% compared to the 2016-2017 school year. Because education is a people-intensive process, 82.18% of the General Fund expenditures for the 2017-2018 school year went toward salaries and benefits. The remaining funds paid for contracted services, utilities, supplies, books, and other basic costs.
Our school board will continue to look at increasing employee compensation in future years. In 2017, the District was able to pass a voted levy increase that went solely to increasing employee compensation and benefits at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
The charts illustrate where tax dollars are spent in the District. The M&O Expenditure Functions chart shows that 66.31% of the expenditures are channeled directly to the instruction of students. The Instruction vs. District Administration chart compares instructional expenditures within the District to District Administrative expenditures, (including central office accounting and human resource services), which have been held to only 2.23% of the total expenditures of the 2017-2018 school year.
The District will continue to strive to meet the needs of students and patrons while assuring the efficient use of taxpayer funds to maintain Tooele County School District’s financial integrity. After all is said and done, we strive to do what is best for the children within the District.
Student Enrollment Growth History
The District has continued to grow due to the increasing student population. In comparing data from one date to another, the District’s enrollment increased 1,822 students from the 14,332 on October 1, 2016, to 16,154 students on October 1, 2017.
This represents a 12.71% increase in the number of students which is the largest percentage increase over the past 15 years. Most of this growth in the 2017-2018 school year was due to the addition of the District’s online school called My Tech High.
Students from across the state can enroll in the online school and the District is funded for these students as if they were physically attending our schools. In fact, on Oct. 1, 2017, there were 2,026 students enrolled in My Tech High. We did have a decline in students attending brick and mortar schools due to the opening of the charter school, Bonneville Academy, in Stansbury Park.
It is projected that the District will continue to have growth in student population as the county population increases, and as My Tech High continues to have students enroll in the online school. The District currently has 25 schools in operation, (15 elementary schools; three junior highs; four high schools; one K-12 school in Dugway; one alternative high school with a Community Learning Center; and one dedicated Preschool).
The District was glad to complete construction on two elementary schools in the 2017-2018 school year. At the beginning of the 2017 school year, Old Mill Elementary School opened its doors to students in Stansbury Park. And, after the winter break, in January 2018, students attending the old Sterling Elementary school, formerly known as Harris Elementary, moved to the new school site on 135 South and 7th street in Tooele. We are excited to have two new elementary schools open to students who are excited to attend them.
As we look forward, our Board of Education continues to monitor student growth to analyze future building projects.
By Lark Reynolds, TCSD Business Administrator
To keep up to date on the financial reports for Tooele County School District, please visit the Business Services web-page at https://www.tooeleschools.org/apps/pages/finance.