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District 25 claims long-awaited good news as it passes new budget

On Tuesday night the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 will be announcing at its annual public budget hearing that it’s finally looking at some good news when it comes to passing the new budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

D-25 Superintendent Mary Vagner said the state legislature is giving the school district a $1.4 million increase in discretionary funds.

In fact, it’s not just district 25 but school districts across the state are seeing more money in their pockets as well.

The discretionary fund is made-up of both earmarked money and operational money, and after seeing cuts from its operational budget these past few years, it was time school boards took a break from having to make those tough program and job cuts.

“We are into the restoration process which is a good thing because of the cuts that we have had to endure and our inability to keep up with those costs,” Vagner said. “The operational money is the most critical piece we needed so we can balance our budget and pay our bills. We haven’t restored anything, but we didn’t have to cut anything.”

This is the first year in a long time the school district isn’t looking at a full chopping block, panicking in disbelief at how much necessary programs and jobs they have had to cut in the past.

On Tuesday night the board will set budgets at $100 million and of that pot of money, the general fund helps make up the lion’s portion of it, coming in at $70 million.

According to the budget documents listed here, the districts are appropriated funds based on attendance and this year, attendance is projected to increase.

The only fee increases parents will see are for those who pay for school lunches. Those are expected to increase by a few cents.

Vagner said the school board has had no choice but to raise the prices slightly since they have to meet the standard formula mandated by the federal government.

Once again, that information is listed in the copy of the budget right here:

Vagner added the free and reduced lunch rates will stay the same, so only the kids purchasing meals at the regular price will be impacted.

The new budget will take effect on July 1 of this year.

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