By Lisa Loomis

As The Valley Reporter goes to press on December 10, members of the Washington West Supervisory Union executive committee are meeting to finalize their budget.

At that meeting they will also determine when the entire supervisory union board will meet to approve the budget. The Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) budget does not come before voters in the union; rather it is approved by elected board members and is then wrapped into each school's budget.

This year the WWSU 2016 budget is proposed at $1,319,218, up 7 percent from the 2015 budget of $1,231,300. That includes moving $34,414 in districtwide applications into the WWSU budget. If those costs were removed and apportioned back onto individual schools, the proposed 2016 WWSU budget would be $1,284,804, or a 4 percent increase.

"There are two options for the budget.  If a number of technology applications used by all WWSU schools, currently paid for directly by these schools, are not moved into the WWSU budget, the proposed increase is 4 percent. A second option would be to add these items into the WWSU budget, which would be a wash for school districts, which increases the SU budget by 7 percent over last year," explained WWSU business manager Michelle Baker.

The 2016 budget increases salary costs for WWSU's 11.23 full-time employees from $790,349 to $815,364, an increase of 2.9 percent. Employee benefits will increase 10 percent, from $250,599 to $276,218.

That increase, Baker explained, is because some employees changed their plans from single- to two-person or a family plan. A single health care plan premium costs $8,010, a two-person plan costs $15,745 and a family plan costs $21,106. WWSU picks up 80 percent of those costs and the employee pays 20 percent.

"Therefore, for example, when an employee moves from a two-person to a family plan, due to a change in status, the supervisory union's cost for health insurance increases," Baker said.

Costs for the districts systems administrator were $93,721 in 2014, $91,286 (2014 actual), $97,638 in 2015 and proposed for $95,735. That includes salary, personal days, health care, etc.

Business office costs were $129,401 in 2014, $126,845 (actual) in 2014, $133,396 in 2015 and are proposed for $139,694. The superintendent's office costs were $505,932 in 2014, $525,431 (actual 2014), $549,544 in 2015 and are proposed at $594,497 in 2016. The superintendent's salary was $119,000 in 2014, $123,165 in 2015 and proposed at $126,614 for 2016.

Fiscal services expenses were $268,422 in 2014, $253,219 (actual in 2014), $299,893 in 2015 and proposed at $333,192 in 2016. Fiscal service salaries were $180,296 in 2014, $186,674 in 2015 and are proposed at $196,079 in 2016.

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