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Jones proposes nearly $3M increase

Higher budget proposal despite fewer students

The King George School Board is faced with a proposed budget for 2012-13 that asks for nearly $3,000,000 more from the county despite fewer students.

The state is projecting an average daily membership (ADM) of 116 fewer students than the division will likely end up with in the current year.

Interim superintendent Stanley Jones released a line item budget proposal a couple of days after he provided highlights in his presentation last week at a meeting on Jan. 9.


NO ACTUAL EXPENDITURE FIGURES PROVIDED     
Jones’s budget book does not provide any actual expenditure figures for the current year nor for any previous years.

That makes it a nearly impossible task for the newly reconstituted School Board to determine a base line. The School Board has three new members - Kristin Tolliver, John Davis and Ken Novell - who took office less than three weeks ago, and two members - Rick Randall and Mike Rose - who were not provided a finance report at a meeting for at least the last year.

But Jones is new, too. He’s working with what was left him by former superintendent Candace Brown when she left in December.

A second difficulty in examining the 2012-13 budget proposal is that it is based on the current year’s budgeted revenues, which must be adjusted downward due to the lower enrollment issue.

The proposed 2012-13 budget might be compared to the current unadjusted adopted budget, which is posted online at the division’s website. It might be more easily compared, if portions of it were not in a

different format.

Jones’s 2012-13 budget proposal appears to start with the current year’s unadjusted budget, which then provides several additions. Some are listed below:
• $436,666 - two percent raises (for next year).
• $214,635 – estimated 10 percent increase in health insurance costs.
• $263,268 - nine teaching positions.
• $189,528 - toward Special Education.
• $288,048 – for new science textbooks to be adopted for K-12.
• $36,000 – truancy officer position at elementary level.
• $42,412 – three bus driver positions.
• $125,473 – Commonwealth Governor’s School (listed without explanation in last week’s presentation). The budget book itself proposes $251,805 for three positions, along with bumping a gifted coordinator position from the current part-time budgeted salary of $28,247 to $46,722 for full-time to provide CGS “supervisory needs.” CGS textbooks are listed at $26,065 for grades 9 and 10 (presumably grades 11 and 12 would be added the following year). CGS costs for start-up equipment are listed at $36,290, and CGS materials and testing fees are listed at $3,000.

CURRENT YEAR SHORTFALL, OVERRUNS, RAISES & BENEFITS
The School Board has yet to trim its 2011-12 budget for the current year, which chairman Mike Rose last week said was running in the red due to lower state revenue because of falling enrollment.

The Board of Supervisors said at a work session last week on Jan. 11 that it would not decrease the county’s budgeted local revenue for the current year, like the state is.

But Supervisors also agreed they would not simply appropriate more funding in the current year to make up the state revenue shortfall or division cost overruns. (For more, see related article elsewhere in this issue.)
Rose also cited cost overruns in several budget areas including some in Transportation, Facilities and Instruction. And decisions likewise need to be made whether there is enough money to cover a budgeted two percent pay raise that was put on hold last week, estimated to cost $216,902 for the rest of the year.
Rose informed his colleagues of a possible budget cut. That would be about $100,000 saved for the rest of the year if the School Board eliminated two policies that provide for payment of  $40/month to each employee who opts out of health insurance participation. That’s according to School Board policies GCBC-R and GDBC-R regarding fringe benefits.

ADM
Revenue to localities is based in large part on ADM, calculated on a daily cumulative average of enrolled students over the entire school year. The state updates the ADM figure each year in December based on numbers calculated on Sept. 30. Then it is recalculated again on March 31 and again after the school year ends, often ending up lower. Here’s a look at the recent enrollment trend regarding ADM.

2010-11:  According to online documents posted by the Virginia Department of Education, as a starting point, the final adjusted ADM figure for the last fiscal year, 2010-11, which ended on June 30, 2011, was 4,098 students. The state had originally calculated the division’s ADM at 4,116, a nominal drop of 18 fewer than projected.    

2011-12: The current year’s budget was based on the state forecasting an ADM of 4,165 students, with state revenue projected at $18,440,992. But the ADM was recalculated by the state in December at 4,058 students. That’s 107 fewer students than originally anticipated, which can be seen to represent about four classrooms, along with all the expenses for educational services, materials and personnel that might represent.

The state’s revenue reduction for King George in the current year, 2011-12, is currently projected at $365,616 less to address the lower ADM.

Last week Rose said the division is currently using an ADM figure of 4,074 students, calculated by the division in November. But the state’s most recent recalculation of ADM was performed in December, projecting ADM at 4,058 students.

2012-13:  Next year’s ADM is currently anticipated to be even lower than in the current year, at 4,049 students, which is the figure being used to calculate state and local revenue projections in the funding proposal released last week.

That ADM figure would pull down $18,771,203 from the state. It would also mean a “required local effort” from King George of funding in the amount of about $8,746,617. But the budget is proposing the School Board ask the county for $15,069,249. That is nearly $3 million more than the county has provided in the current year, which is erroneously based on a higher ADM. The actual amount of increase would add up to an additional $2,961,413 more for the division than in the current 2011-12 fiscal year for its 2012-13 operating budget.

Stay tuned.

The School Board has a budget meeting this week on Jan. 17 (following our press time) where more information and explanation will certainly be requested.

Phyllis Cook

 

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