The legislative committee for education appropriations recommended a 4% increase to the weighted pupil unit for this year’s budget. What does that mean for Park City schools?
Park City School District Business Administrator Todd Hauber says that 4% increase in per-pupil spending—which shakes out to $128 million statewide—will bring about $600,000 into the Park City School District.
Compensation for school district employees was decided two and a half years ago, Hauber says, when the district planned for a 2.5% annual increase in the WPU. He says the 4% increase for this year means that compensation will continue to be supported, and the additional 1.5% can be used for other budget needs.
“We had a three-year contract for all of our employee groups, so the teachers, the [education support professionals] and the administrators, and we had forecasted that the WPU would grow by at least 2.5% each year," Hauber said. "So, this is positive news—being north of 2.5% means that we have all the financing that we will need to carry on that.”
Hauber is also keeping tabs on a bill that appropriates $32 million to help school districts hire more counselors, to support student mental health.
“So, it is, as I understand it, on a grants basis," Hauber said. "It’s yet to be fully fleshed out, but we will be front in line and asking for the dollars where we have students in need in our area, as much as anywhere else in the state.”
Hauber says the district administration is putting together a list of budget priorities that the additional $600,000 from the WPU increase could fund. The administration will review the priorities with the school board at the end of the month.