Budget Plan Balances Needs vs Funds

Spending Increases 1.7% in 17-18 Budget
Posted on 09/25/2017
BudgetThe 2017-18 budget approved by the Board of Education on Sept. 19 balances district programming needs with modest revenue increases.
Overall spending is increasing 1.7 percent from last year. Among spending increases in the $39 million spending plan are capital projects, new staff to meet enrollment and program needs, employee benefit rate increases and a new bus contract, according to Jessica Donato, chief school business official.

Overall Expenditures

Key capital projects include carpet replacement at the junior high, which will take place next summer, and the gym floor replacement at Westmoor School, which was just completed. Staff increases include an administrator to develop the Educational Life Skills program for special education students and an additional position to support the early childhood program. Other new spending will be used for technology pilot programs, library technology, integrated technology classroom projects, iPads, musical instruments and furniture.

Overall spending is $1.5 million higher than projected revenues. Contingencies, which are not typically spent, account for more than half of the difference. Capital projects, estimated to cost $582,100, are paid for with fund reserves and therefore also make up part of the $1.5 million deficit.

The remainder of the deficit is due to a temporary reduction in revenue based on a multi-year agreement with commercial property owners that refunds some property taxes paid in previous years in exchange for not seeking refunds for other years, both in the past and in the future.

Overall Revenues
Local property taxes comprise 85 percent of the district’s total revenue. Other local revenues make up 8 percent, while state funds comprise 5 percent and federal funds comprise 2 percent.

Overall revenues are increasing 5 percent, including increases in interest on investments and backlogged state payments. Property tax revenue will increase about 1.4 percent over last year, which includes new property development and the overall levy increase, which is tied to the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index is set at 0.7 percent for this budget cycle.

While the General Assembly passed a state funding formula in August, just how much revenue the district can expect from the state remains uncertain. The law, however, protects the district against loss of prior year state funding.
17-18 Expenditures by Function
178-18 Overall Revenues

Read more Board Briefs from Sept. 19 meeting