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FAYETTEVILLE -- The School Board unanimously approved an overall budget totaling $114.95 million for 2016-17.

Of that, $100.74 million represents the operating budget, which pays for teacher salaries, everyday operational expenses and payments on debt.

By the numbers

Fayetteville budget for 2016-17

Teacher salary fund: $44,249,553*

Operating fund: $41,492,749*

Building fund: $120,000

Debt service fund: $14,646,033*

Federal funds: $5,416,486

Campus activity funds: $5,000,000

Food service fund: $4,031,017

Total: $114,955,838

*These three funds make up the operating budget.

Source: Fayetteville School District

Operating expenses are expected to be 0.43 percent more than the $100.31 million spent in 2015-16, but overall spending is down from 2015-16 school year when the district spent $117.71 million, said Kathy Hanlon, the district's chief financial officer. The primary reason is because of a drop in building expenses.

The district spent $7.74 million in building costs in 2015-16, including the final costs for the five-year, $96 million transformation of the Fayetteville High School campus, Hanlon said. The approved budget this year includes $120,000 in building expenses.

The board voted 7-0 to adopt the budget.

"She's got us going in the right direction," said Traci Farrah, board secretary. "I do love the fact that we have it budgeted for replacement cycles."

The budget includes money for the district to purchase at least three buses, instead of just two, Hanlon said. She told the board during a Tuesday workshop on the budget she wants to make upgrading equipment a routine part of the budget, with $120,000 in this year's budget going toward upgrading custodial equipment. The district has taken bids from companies and is ordering the equipment, including 30 new vacuums, she said.

Superintendent Matthew Wendt during the workshop told board members about a custodian in the district's central office who relied on an older vacuum she was told to kick a few times to keep it running.

Wendt, who joined the district July 1, plans to spend the next few months talking with employees from all sectors of the district about whether they have the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs, he said. He's interested in learning more about how the district's money is spent, including what is funded and what is not.

"School budgets are always tight," Wendt said. "Budgets have been prepared to meet the standards that Fayetteville Public Schools has for public education. I find that very encouraging."

Hanlon for 2016-17 has budgeted total revenue of $113.82 million, though that is a conservative number, she told the board this week.

An important component of school district revenue comes from the foundation funding the state guarantees all districts. This year, the amount of state foundation funding going to districts is $6,646 per student. The number of students is not a district's enrollment, which is counted every October, but instead is the average student membership from the third quarter of the prior school year, which for Fayetteville was 9,534 students.

Fayetteville School District will receive $26.8 million of its foundation funding from the state, while local tax revenues will provide $36.5 million, Hanlon said.

The district also receives local property tax revenue outside of what it receives in foundation money. This will amount to an additional $29.59 million.

A new director

Wendt on Thursday also introduced Mark Oesterle as the district's new director of federal programs and programs for students who are English language learners. Oesterle is leaving Springdale School District, where he has been an assistant principal for the Don Tyson School of Innovation. Oesterle has prior experience as a senior program specialist at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching in Santa Monica, Calif.; as an associate superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment in the Littleton School District in Avondale, Ariz.; and as a principal in the Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix. He also is a former adjunct professor from Arizona State University.

"It was a great move professionally," Oesterle said Thursday. "It's going from one great district to another great district."

Oesterle said the new role gives him a chance to join Wendt's leadership team, a job he begins today.

NW News on 08/26/2016

Print Headline: Fayetteville School Board approves $114.95 million budget

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