DOUGLAS — The Douglas School Board adopted its proposed budget of $34,170,956 at a special board meeting Tuesday.

The total aggregate budget this fiscal year, which began July 1, has an increase of $1,090,503 from last year, thanks to some additional funding from the state.

It does not include a tax increase, which is currently at 6.8547 percent. The proposed tax rate for this budget will be brought up before the Cochise County Board of Supervisors at their August meeting.

“That’s when the county will meet and approve all the tax rates for the county,” Cesar Soto, Douglas Unified School District’s Chief Financial & Operations Officer, told the board at the meeting. “I’m thinking our tax rate is going to go down a little bit so it won’t be an increase. Yes, the budget is increasing overall but that money is coming from the state to give teachers the salary increase.”

Soto informed the board that a projection between $750,000 and $800,000 is being carried over from last year’s budget to this year and that the DUSD is in “good shape financially.”

The new budget includes the 7 percent increase for certified staff and teachers; a 4 percent increase for principals, assistant principals, and directors, 3 percent for nurses and supervisors, as well as the increase for all classified employees.

The average teacher salary for DUSD educators this fiscal year increased to $41,702 up $2,664 from last year’s salary of $39,128.

New teachers in the district will now be earning an average of $33,500, up $1,500 from last year.

The budget figures this year show $24,200,828 in maintenance and operation; $1,457,058 in unrestricted capital funds, and $8,513,070 in federal projects. The $8,513,070 includes the $1.9 million the DUSD received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act signed by President Trump in March. The $2 trillion aid package provides financial aid to families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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