MARICOPA — Schools in Maricopa will have more money to spend in the upcoming school year, and the district is planning to put a significant portion of those funds toward teachers.

The Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board discussed the budget for the 2019-20 school year on Wednesday night. The estimated general budget limit for the upcoming year is $50,209,926, as presented by MUSD Business Director Jacob Harmon.

From last year, the budget will likely increase, adding $3,405,202 for the upcoming school year.

Mandatory expenditures will include a state retirement increase by 0.31 percent, minimum wage increase to $12 per hour and estimated election cost.

Other recommendations for staff that Harmon presented were 5-percent salary increases and $150,000 in employee insurance benefit costs.

The budget will also include expenses for new staff due to growth. The $1.8 million recommendation lists professional positions, classified positions, meet and confer committee requests and Exceptional Student Services visioning committee requests.

For capital expenditures, the recommended technology purchases and projects include laptop computers with a five-year lease for all teachers and administrative staff, seven new copiers, phone upgrades, district intercom systems and security cameras at five out of the six elementary schools.

“I am so happy to see that we are actually investing in our staff as far as making sure they have computers that are up to date,” said board member Torri Anderson. “Everyone gets a computer so now they can actually have lessons on a computer that works. I’m glad to see that in the budget finally.”

This was the first budget discussion for the upcoming school year and it is subject to change.

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