Mon County BOE approves approx. $156 million budget for FY 2023-24

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Monongalia County Board of Education will move forward with a fiscal year 2023-24 budget of approximately $156 million. The budget was approved unanimously and represents a just over $11 million increase from the last year.

“Our taxes increased by $4.4 million, our local sources increased by $400,000, and state sources increased by $7 million,” said Monongalia County School Treasurer Nicole Kemper.

The majority of the revenues reported by Kemper were from state funds valued at approximately $78.3 million. The second largest revenue source came from local levy tax revenues valued at approximately $70.1 million, with local funds contributing about $2.6 million in interest income. The largest increase in year-over-year revenue was attributed to the state as part of the $2,300 pay raise for public employees passed in the 2023 legislative session.

“Most of this is due to the $2,300 across-the-board pay raise and the additional funding for the 3rd Grade Success Act,” said Kemper on the increased state revenues.

Labor costs are the largest budget item spent in the FY 2023-24 budget (approximately $85 million). The second and third largest expenditures for Monongalia County Schools will be maintenance (approx. $17 million) and the transportation department (approx. $14 million). Aside from the expenditures directed towards pay raises, Kemper stated the largest increase in spending from year to year was from the transportation department due to rising inflation costs.

“We are seeing that the costs of buses are going up to get parts; all of the costs for diesel and gasoline are really hitting our transportation department,” said Kemper.

Kemper also said changes to the premium increases for the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) will cost the district about $2.7 million. Approximately $350,000 will be included as part of new staff approved by the 3rd Grade Success Act. Outside of approximately $8 million in federal funds supporting a kids eat free program and 57 positional hires.

“Eighty-one percent of our budget is representative of salaries and employee benefits,” said Kemper on the percentages of costs in the FY 2023-24 budget. “And then our supplies are seven percent, and other purchase services are five percent,” she said.