19 Jun SL faces deficit for 2019-20 school year
The district’s Board of Education approved the budget for the 2019-20 school year on Monday. The conservative preliminary budget calls for a $176,300 deficit, which would bring the district’s fund balance to 7.75 percent.
Scott Powers, the district’s chief financial officer, said they budget conservatively and hope to end the year with positive financial news.
Powers noted the district is projected to see an increase in expenses and revenues.
In building the budget, Powers said they made conservative assumptions about state level funding because a state aid package hasn’t yet been approved. The budget was built with a $150 per pupil funding increase, and they also anticipate changes in state and county funding levels for special education.
The budget also factors a blended enrollment of 2,470 students, which is a decline of 16 students from the current school year.
The district will also receive $600,000 for the regional enhancement millage, which is earmarked for capital improvements, Powers said. It’s the first year the district will receive funds from the millage that voters approved in November 2018.
The district is also keeping an eye on the state’s school aid and general funds because they’re projected to grow slowly. Powers said they are also watching for how road funding might impact school funding.
On the district’s expenses side, salaries for all staff members receive wage and salary increases, and the district continues to have a hard cap on employee health care costs.
The budget also takes into account retirements and replacements for staff members. The district also has a required amount they have to contribute to retirements.
The board also approved an amendment for the 2018-19 budget to end the school year with a $93,000 deficit, which leaves the fund balance with 8.79 percent balance.
Powers said the district has had budget stability for the past few years where they don’t add or use much of the general fund, which moved the district into a favorable position.
Powers noted the district has a “vibrant education foundation” that raises funds that benefit district programs.