Thanks to planning and in part to a burgeoning student enrollment, Spring Lake Park District 16 will not undergo budget reductions for the next school year.
The District 16 School Board last week at its regular meeting unanimously approved a 2012-13 total revenue budget of $64.8 million and an expenditure budget of $64.7 million.
The budget is structurally balanced with a general fund surplus of more than $6,500, said Amy Schultz, District 16’s business manager, in a 2012-13 proposed budget presentation at the meeting before the board’s vote.
The district has reduced expenditures by $5.5 million during the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.
The total budget includes the general operating funds, food service and community service funds and non-operating funds, such as health and safety, debt service, OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) debt service and trust and agency funds.
The FY 2013 total revenue budget is a 4.7 percent increase over last year’s revised budget of $61.9 million and a 6.2 percent increase over last year’s total expenditure budget of $60.9 million.
“The approval of this budget has no affect on taxpayers,” Schultz said in an interview with the Life.
There were no budget reductions resulting in staff being let go, she said.
The FY 2013 budget resources include the renewal of an operating levy, which generates $2.8 million in annual revenue. The budget also includes $1.06 million in annual revenue from a capital projects technology levy passed by resident voters last fall.
Capital projects levy funds will go toward updating outdated technology, technology maintenance and staff and for purchasing digital devices, such as iPads, for most every district student in second- through 12th-grades. The devices will be distributed starting this fall in a four-phase plan.
“The only increase residents would have seen related to the levy they approved and taxes are already being collected,” Schultz told the Life.
For more than a decade, the district has had to borrow money for cash flow needs. At this point, the district will not have to do so, according to Schultz.
“It would not be until next spring, if we need to at all,” Schultz told the Life.
The borrowing is not called for because the school board wants a structurally balanced budget and the district has a healthy fund balance, allowing for flexibility when needs arise, Schultz said.
District 16 began planning the FY 2013 budget back in spring of 2011, when the board and administration met to discuss a long-term budget planning model to make more effective decisions, according to the district.
Most of the funding school districts receive from the state is based on per pupil enrollment. On the revenue side, District 16’s FY 2013 budget is based on a projected enrollment increase of 50 students from about 5,050 to 5,100 students. Growth is mostly in the K-3 grades.
The district has been experiencing an upward trend in enrollment over the past nine years on an average of 95 students per year. In 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, the district saw a jump in enrollment of about 200 students, twice the average enrollment number over the last nine years.
“This is a trend that many districts in the state would be quite envious of – it’s a growing district, especially in the metro area,” Schultz said at the school board meeting.
Revenue assumptions in planning the 2012-13 budgets are:
• A $50 increase in student formula allowance from $5,174 in FY 2012 to $5,224 in FY 2013.
• A first-time literacy incentive of more than $300,000.
• An increase in compensatory aid from the state based on the number of students in financial need.
• More flexibility with integration funding.
• Q-comp, a teacher salary incentive, will continue (This will be the district’s second year participating).
• Capital projects levy.
Expenditures assumptions in planning the 2012-13 budget are:
• Supply carryover. This allows buildings to carry over up to 20 percent of their supplies budget into the following year, ensuring supplies will be used for strategic purposes, rather than the use-it-or-lose-it approach and a rush to spend the money on various supplies.
• Inflation on purchased services, such as utilities, and tuition to districts to pay for services not offered to students at SLP and transportations services.
• OPEB trust funds. The district has decided not to use the $300,000 within the OPEB trust.
• Staff costs based on continued board and administration approach
FY 2013 general fund
The school board approved general fund revenues at $47.4 million, a 2.3 percent increase over last year’s revised budget. General fund expenditures were approved at $47.8 million, a 5.1 percent increase over last year’s revised budget. (This does not include restricted/assigned funds, such as health and safety and operating capital funds.)
The FY 2013 budget has an unassigned fund balance projected at $4.4 million.
State aid comprises a major portion of the budget’s revenues at $35.1 million. Additional revenue sources are: nearly $13 million from property taxes, $1.5 million from the federal government, $10,000 in interest and $540,000 in other, such as local grants and athletic participation and gate admission fees.
Employee salaries and benefits make up the largest portion of the expenditure budget at $37.4 million.
Other expenditures are: purchased services, $5.7 million; capital and equipment, $3.7 million; purchased compensation, $2.7 million; supplies and materials, $817,359; borrowing costs, $225,000; and other $103,035. An example of other would be organization membership fees.
No increase in lunch prices
In addition to the general fund, the total budget comprises a $2.2 million food service fund and a $2.6 million community service fund, both self-sustaining programs.
Schultz said there would be no increase in the cost of student lunches this coming school year.
Among non-operating funds are a debt service fund with revenues of $9.4 million and expenditures of $8.6 million; OPEB debt service of $320,140 and revenues of $295,220; and a trust and agency fund with $100,000 in revenues and expenditures.
Last year the board approved a budget with $1.7 million in cuts or modifications, eliminating 12 full-time equivalency teaching positions. Among other savings were operation costs and the district’s shift from a seven-period to a six-period day.
Two years ago, the district underwent $2.3 million in cuts and modifications.
District 16 serves students in Spring Lake Park, and parts of Blaine and Fridley.
For more information on District 16’s budget, visit www.springlakeparkschools.org.
Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]