Planning for the unknowns

WUHS officials begin assembling budget with inflation looming

By Dave Fidlin


While the second year of a state biennial budget does provide a degree of certainty, officials in the Waterford Union High School district say a number of macro issues could make planning for next year’s spending plan a challenge.

WUHS Superintendent Luke Francois provided the School Board with a first glimpse into the district’s budget building process for the upcoming 2022-23 school year at a meeting Monday.

The document does not officially kick in until July 1 – and will be subject to refinement into the fall as various pieces of data come in – but Francois said he and other high school staffers are laying the groundwork this spring.

The all-too-familiar concept of inflation could impact WUHS in a variety of ways, Francois said, from the fuel required to transport students to and from school to the food served at lunch.

“We want to live within the means we have,” Francois said. “Many of these are going to be fixed costs that we cannot control.”

To keep pace with the consumer price index, Francois said the preliminary proposal on the table is to offer staff a 4.7% salary increase. Another weighty expense item – benefit costs – also are expected to rise to the tune of about 5%, he said, after remaining flat in recent years.

Based on preliminary figures, Francois said he also expects other items on the expense side of the financial ledger to increase. Transportation costs could rise 5%, he said, while utility and food service expenses could rise 2%.

To read the full version of this story see the March 4 edition of the Waterford Post.

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