District Receives Mid-Term Adjustment

Post date: Jan 18, 2011 2:53:05 AM

The school district has received its annual mid-term adjustment from the state. This time around the district will have a net gain of almost $400,000 from the adjustment. However, as pointed out in earlier posts, the state did not properly fund the health Flexible Benefit for teachers, recently diverting some of that funding to the retirement offset the attorney general recently said must be paid for on behalf of teachers.

Tim Green, the district's Executive Director of Business and Finance, reports that the Flexible Benefit funding is already down $121,161 and today the state education department projected we would lose another $40,000 if the legislature does not provide requested supplemental funding. So the district's net gain from the mid-term adjustment could be reduced to only $239,000. The state has shorted the district funds late in a fiscal year on multiple occasions, and Superintendent Quinn and Mr. Green warned that risk continues.

Both Mr. Green and Superintendent Quinn recommended that the board not use any of the new funding at this time, saving it to help offset funding losses in the coming fiscal year. The district projects it will lose about $2,000,000 in federal stimulus funding for 2011-2012. That can be partially offset by about $800,000 captured for our district fund balance out of federal jobs money provided in late 2010.

However, that still leaves an initial hole of $1,200,000 in the 2011-2012 district budget. Funding the teacher and classified salary schedules properly (advancing employees a step for another year of experience) and typical administrative raises would enlarge that gap. Furthermore, the state is projecting another funding shortfall for state agencies in 2011-2012 and our local legislators have warned that schools could face additional cuts. The district still has a healthy fund balance, but it is unlikely it can absorb all of those costs and shortfalls.