The Webster Groves Board of Education on June 24 approved a $63.15 million budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year that is about $30,000 in the black. The budget reflects an increase in assessed property values across the district plus a healthy return on invested funds.

The final budget was about $200,000 higher in projected expenditures and revenues than the preliminary draft the board discussed in April. Areas of significant change include the early childhood and pre-school programs, an increase in the per-student state foundation formula and additional staff retirements.

District Finance Officer Bruce Ellerman explained that the $63.15 million in projected expenditures will be offset by $63.44 million in revenues, with a larger disbursement of state funds in addition to local funds that reflect property values that have increased about 30 percent since 2016.

Ellerman said the district’s relatively good financial position can be credited to “efficiency measures, revenue enhancements and conservative budgetary practices.”

The budget calls for one additional teacher at Edgar and Bristol schools, a half-time counselor at Edgar, two more teachers at Hixson and three at the high school. The district tax rate is expected to drop to $4.24 per $100 of assessed valuation.