- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 09:53
- Published on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 09:53
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This week the King George School Board made adjustments to its 2014-15 budget to go forward with 2-percent raises across the board.
At a meeting on Monday, June 13, the School Board quickly agreed on the first of five options put forward by Superintendent Rob Benson to enable going forward with the planned raises. The other options would have decreased the percentage of the raises.
The option selected basically recognizes slack in the existing in the budget, along with assuming there will be additional revenue from the state for higher average daily membership (ADM) for student enrollment than had been budgeted.
The decision was needed because Benson said the budget needed adjustment to balance a projected loss of $316,509 in state revenue.
The newly-adopted state budget uses a different methodology to calculate state funding for the K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction program.
The state will now calculate eligible schools by using a three-year average of free lunch eligibility data. Last year, only the previous year’s eligibility data was use in the calculation.
This new methodology eliminated the eligibility for funding the class size reduction initiative for two of the division’s three elementary schools.
The change means instead of $492,176 in funding for the class size reduction program, the division will only receive $175,667, a difference of $316,509.
SLACK RECOGNIZED IN BUDGET
To make up the difference of $316,500 and still fund the 2-percent raises, the division will take the following measures.
Collapse Vacant Positions – $60,061 will be saved by not filling two vacant positions for a paraprofessional and a communication specialist.
Budget the ‘Breakage’ – $176,639 is available from breakage using the actual known personnel costs for teachers. Breakage is a term used to indicate the money saved when hiring lower salaried personnel to replace higher paid personnel who have retired or resigned at the end of the school year.
Higher ADM than Budgeted - $79,800 more state revenue can be expected if an ADM of 4,189 students is used for next school year, instead of 4,170.
Benson said the division finished the 2013-14 fiscal year with an ADM of 4,202 students.
For next year, he had recommended using an ADM of 4,130 for 2014-15, which would more than likely have resulted in a large surplus of money at the end of next school year.
That’s what happened this year, when an unrealistically low ADM of 4,100 was used by Benson for 2013-14. The division has been using the additional revenue of more than $500,000 for one-time purchases and capital repairs.
For next year, the county based state revenue for next fiscal year on 4,170.
Now Benson has bumped the state revenue expectations up to match the higher estimated ADM of 4,189. With a trend toward increasing enrollment as the economy improves, that ADM figure would appear to be realistic.