- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:41
- Published on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:41
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The Colonial Beach School Board learned at the January meeting, when Superintendent Donna Power presented the first draft budget of the upcoming 2012–2013 school year, that the school may be facing a possible $292,823 budget shortfall due to stimulus money ending or declining.
Total projected revenue for the next school year is estimated at $6,963,122 and expenditures are projected at $7,255,945.
Revenues have dropped due to federal grant and stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds either reaching their end date or phasing out. Because many programs funded by these moneys are
already in place, schools continue the programs past the funded time limit, causing expenditures to rise when the cost is passed on to the school.
The shortfall for Colonial Beach Schools comes from a reduction of ARRA money in the amount of $89,016 and federal grant money in the amount of $84,035.
Power explained, “In federal revenue all of the Title programs from Title I to Title X have been significantly decreased by at least 1.1% or higher,” resulting in the deficit of $84,035. Power added, “In some cases funding has gone away all together.”
Another shortfall was created because the governor of Virginia has recommended an increase to the Virginia Retirement Services (VRS) employer share from 11.33% to 16.66%.
If the proposed increase passes at the 2012 General Assembly the school will pay an extra $109,663. Superintendent Donna Power said, “Although this is a much more realistic figure than his originally proposed 21%, it still will result in a huge increase in contribution to the VRS.”
The governor is also proposing an increase in group life and health care credits which would increase spending for the school by $3,897. These increases to the VRS will also affect the expenditure side because they are subject to local match from the school.
$93,211 of state money is being removed from the schools’ budget for preschool initiative. Because Colonial Beach preschool initiative is already federally funded under Title I, the schools are ineligible to receive money from the state for this program so that amount is being deducted from state funding.
Power did say there was good news, “The one thing that has worked so well for us or is going to help us in not having a bigger deficit than will be reported is that the composite index for Colonial Beach actually dropped.”
The total shortfall has been decreased because the composite index for Colonial Beach has been lowered from 0.3785 in 2011–2012 to 0.3527 in 2012–2013.
Virginia uses the composite index to determine a locality’s ability to pay educations costs needed to maintain the state’s standards of quality (SOQ). Three factors are considered when determining a locality’s composite index - true value of real property, adjusted gross income and taxable retail sales.
A lower index rating puts the larger burden of revenue on the state, reducing the amount needed from local funding.
Power informed the Board that, the governor’s 2012–2014 budget is subject to final action at the 2012 General Assembly session, but warned, if SOQ funded programs and incentive programs requirements are raised then the local match for these are required to go up as well.
These projections are all based on the anticipated enrollment of 600 students. As of Jan 11 the total school enrollment was 599 students.
At the present proposed budget State funding makes up 52% of the total revenue. Local funding only represents 24% at a total $1,696,517 if the local requirement is given.
Power stated, “We will be working during the course of the next 60 days to find out how we are going to meet our shortfall or if the Governor’s budget allows for any additional dollars.” But she intends to ask for level funding of $1.75 million again in the 2012–2013 budget.
Power is still awaiting additional money to cover the unforeseen cost of the Middle School Mod Pod for the present school year.
Power summarized by saying, “We are facing a revenue shortfall of $292,823, and I would like to remind the board that at this time this is only a first draft, there are many many variables still out there of which we do not have concise information.”