The Gilbert Public Schools governing board approved its first revision of its fiscal year 2021-22 budget Aug. 24, one that sees small increases in maintenance and operations and unrestricted capital.

Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Betz told the board at its business meeting that its tax rate will be lower than anticipated as well.

The maintenance and operations budget, which pays for day-to-day operations of the district including most salaries, will go from a final adopted figure of $260.91 million to $262.59 million, an increase of $1.68 million.

Unrestricted capital, which covers buildings, transportation, textbooks, technology and similar items, will have an increase of fewer than $3,000 to $20.34 million.

Betz attributed the changes to a mid-July recalculation of student counts that help fuel the state’s budget formulas.

She said the district wanted to make a quick revision of the budget early in the school year because the final budget was sent to the state on draft documents. That was a result of the budget needing to be adopted by the board before the Arizona Legislature had finished its session and approved a state budget.

The tax rate for primary and secondary property tax, including the district’s current voter-approved 15% maintenance and operations override and capital bonds, will be $6.0292 per $100 assessed valuation. That is $0.04 less than anticipated at budget approval, when it was $6.0692. The levied rate for the previous fiscal year was $6.2580 per $100 assessed valuation.

Other items

The board appointed its newest member, Bill Parker, as the board representative to the district’s audit committee. Parker previously worked for the State Auditor General’s Office for three years.

The board approved a $2 an hour driving incentive to transportation staff with a commercial driver’s license and $1 an hour driving or monitoring bonus to van drivers or bus monitors. The bonus, approved for just this year, is meant to help retain hard-to-hire transportation staff, Betz said. She told the board that the district has the budget now to absorb the cost, which she estimated to be about a half million dollars.