The Rainier School Board Monday night approved a $17.7 million, 2018-19 school budget, a 6 percent boost from last year's spending plan.
The board also appointed Elaine Placido to replace member Penny Blahm, who died April 5. Placido, 50, is Cowlitz County's director of Building and Planning.
Rainier School District's 2017-18 budget was $16.7 million, a big drop from the $23.6 million 2016-17 budget. But $11 million of that 2016-17 budget was for building and facility construction.
The upcoming year's budget includes a $9.84 million general fund, which pays for general school operations, including most teacher salaries and instruction costs.
The new budget also includes a $5.96 million "special revenue fund" (including support services, instruction and transfers) and $41,595 for capital projects. These totals are all slight raises from last year's budget.
According to district documents, landowners who live in the district will pay $5.436 per $1,000 of assessed value in property tax for the upcoming school year — the same amount as the 2017-18 school year, and it will cost the owner of a $150,000 home about $815.
The new interim board member, Placido, 50, will be sworn in during the July 9 school board meeting.
Placido said she's lived in the Rainier School District for 10 years and has a son who graduated from Rainier High and a daughter currently enrolled in seventh grade. She said she was "excited to serve the district."
"I’ve always been committed to public service. This is another opportunity to be involved in the community," she said.
Carter said the district was "very excited that we have someone so qualified" and praised the four other applicants as well.
"What I was excited about was ... when some districts are having a hard time finding board members, we have five people apply for an interim spot," he said. "It was a tough selection for the board."
If she wishes to stay on the board, Placido will have to run for re-election in May 2019.