17 Jun District 16 Board Approves $56.9 Million Total Budget (MN)June 17, 2010
By: Elyse KanerSource: ABC Newspapers
Spring Lake Park District 16 School Board has approved a $56.9 million total expenditure budget for 2010-11 school year.
The budget is a 3.7 percent decrease ($2.2 million) from last year’s total expenditure budget of $59.1 million, while revenues decreas ed from $58.5 million last year to $58.3 million or a 0.4 percent decrease ($262,005) for this coming school year.
Next year, cuts will not be kept from the classroom as in the past few years.
Reductions were necessary because of budget constraints resulting from flat per-pupil funding from the state, no increase for inflation and a delay in payment for operational funds from the state, forcing the district to borrow money, to name a few reasons.
Also, the need for services is increasing, in special education, for instance, while decreases in reimbursements from federal sources continue.
District 16 next year will lose $40,000 in Title I funding, a federal source to help kids living in poverty.
“So even though they often say we’re being held flat, there are a number of sources where we are actually losing revenue going into next year,” said Amy Schultz, District 16’s business director.
Schultz made her comments in a 2010-11 proposed budget presentation June 8 to the school board at its regular meeting.
Student enrollment drives 90 percent of the district’s budget.
Superintendent Jeff Ronneberg estimates about eight teaching positions will be cut for 2010-11.
Next year’s budget includes about $450,000 in revenues the district stands to gain if the state accepts its application for Q Comp (Quality Compensation). District 16 has decided to move forward with its plan for the voluntary salary incentive program for teachers based on performance.
&# x0A;The board at the meeting approved the following expenditure budget funds for next school year:
General, $45.13 million; food service, $1.94 million; community service, $2.5 million; debt service, $7.24 million; and trust and agency, $100,000.
The general fund budget decreased 4.1 percent from $47.04 million in 2009 to $45.13 million for 2010, a decrease of $1.91 million, according to Schultz.
The general fund excludes the food service, community service, debt and trust funds.
General fund revenues decreased 2.7 percent from $45.92 million in 2009 to $44.69 million for 2010, a decrease of $1.23 million.
The projected unreserved/undesignated fund balance for June 20, 2010, is $303,077.
$2.3 million cuts
The approval of the budget includes $2.3 million in cuts and modifications.
“At this point, it wasn’t possible to keep it (the cuts) entirely out of the classroom,” said Schultz.
To add to the district’s financial woes, recent state legislation approved delaying payment to school districts for operating costs. That means District 16 will have to borrow money for its daily operation costs for next year.
The district will pay $240,000 in interest this year for short-term borrowing of $12 million because of state-delayed funding, according Schultz.
As a result it will have less net revenue for the current school year than in 2008-09, she said.
Further, the district has been receiving decreased reimbursement for pro grams, such as special education and extended time revenue.
“Even though the needs of our students has increased, the funding has not kept pace to meet our demands,” Schultz said.
The district’s budget process was started last summer and is an ongoing process.
In January, the district set budget reductions and modifications at $2.3 million.
Modifications for the 2010-11 budget include the following reductions: Administration/administrative support $200,000; educational services, $575,000; education services/special education $310,000; operations, $500,000. Revenue to be generated in the modifications category for next year includes Q Comp and OPEB (other post-employment benefits, mainly health plans) at $715,000.
After input from staff and the public, district administrators proposed a modifications total. A community advisory council reviewed the proposals and in May 2010 the board reviewed the 2010-11 proposed budget during a work session.
On the revenue side, it decreased from $58.5 million last year to $58.3 million or a 0.4 percent decrease ($262,005) for 2010-11.
The revenues funds are broken down into the following:
General, $44.69 million; food service, $1.86 million; community service, $2.50 million; alternative facilities, $1.25 million; debt service, $7.88 million and trust and agency, $100,000.
District 16 has saved a total of nearly $2 million by reconfiguring from four K-5 schools, to three K-3 schools and one intermediate school five years ago, according to Schultz.
Five positions at the district service center have been eliminated for next year.
Teacher cuts for the 2010-11 school year will amount to a total of about seven or eight full-time positions, Ronneberg said in a recent phone interview. Teacher reductions were based on student enrollment, registrations and curricular requirements.
Still, the district continues to search for ways to save money in the future.
It is making plans, for instance, to looked into a six-period day at SLP High School for the 2011 school year rather than its current seven-period day referred to at times by Ronneberg as the Cadillac of class-schedule models.
The board also at its June 8 meeting approved the district’s developing a guiding change document to look into planning for a six-period day.
More districts are moving toward a six-period day, Schultz said.
“If we had a lot of money coming in from the state, we probably wouldn’t be looking at this,” she said.
District 16 last year cut $1.5 million from its budget.
Schultz said the district anticipates the need for about $1.2 million to $1.3 million additional reductions for 2011-12.
Recommendations are already in place as the result of several meetings last year and this year involving district administration, staff, parents and community members.
The district plans to consider reducing further costs through energy, transportation and buildings and grounds efficiencies, Schultz said .
“We’re going to continue to look at all operations areas in the district,” she said.
District 16 serves about 4,600 students in Spring Lake Park and parts of Blaine and Fridley.