While a half-cent sales tax increase provided higher wages for teachers in the Rapid City Area School District, a new funding formula instituted by the South Dakota State Legislature changed how local school boards can spend revenues in their general funds, according to KOTA News. Under the previous formula, districts were allowed to spend revenues from their general funds at their own discretion. However, the legislature’s changes have led the Rapid City Area School District to dip into their capital outlay fund, intended for building maintenance and supplies, to pick up costs not prescribed by the new general fund formula.
Currently there are over $58 million in expenses in the general fund. Critics have cited high administrative costs as the primary contributor for the budget shortfall, with 10 top administrative employees costing the district $1.1 million. Assistant Superintendent Dave Janak noted that the district has commissioned a study to determine cost saving measures.
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