Centralia School District expands its 2023-24 budget due to unexpected enrollment costs


Due to an unexpected increase in enrollment costs this year, the Centralia School Board voted Wednesday to expand the district’s 2023-24 budget by a total of $1.75 million, bringing the total budget for the fiscal year to about $61.2 million.

The initial budget approved by the school board in July was for approximately $59.4 million.

“We’re not expecting (expenditures) to hit that by any means. I’m trying to make sure we don’t bust our budget,” district Finance Director Joe Vetter said during a public hearing on the budget increase on Wednesday.

The additional expenditures cover increased special education, utilities and insurance costs, according to Vetter.

Vetter assured school board members on Wednesday that the district does have the revenue to cover the increased costs.

“You cannot raise your budget unless you have the revenues to pass it,” Vetter said.

State law prohibits districts from exceeding the total budget approved by the school board, but does allow districts to formally extend their budgets during the fiscal year.

The district’s budget is accessible through https://www.centraliaschooldistrict.org/.org