The big news of Monday’s CDA School District Board of Trustees meeting came in a 5 minute update by Finance Director Shannon Johnston about the district’s general fund budget status. This is a quick overview of the new challenges brought forth due to lower enrollment numbers; there will be a longer discussion at the January 22nd board workshop meeting. This is going to be a bullet-pointed recap due to the overwhelming amount of numbers, there will be a Powerpoint presentation at the workshop.
Reminder: The FY23/24 budget is in effect July 1, 2023 thru June 30, 2024.
Total projected revenue for FY23/24 has decreased by $305,000 due to the loss of support units and an increase in local and state revenue.
The state funds support units based on average daily attendance but because enrollment is down “unexpectedly” statewide, our district lost funding for 5 support units that were already reflected in the FY24 adopted budget. (The state does not fund per teacher, they fund by support unit which is the total number of staff necessary to serve the student population, teachers, administration, operations, etc.)
The district received an additional $98,000 from the JUUL vaping settlement.
The district received $210,000 as a result of facility fee revenue per the MOU with North Idaho College.
The district received an additional $88,000 lottery revenue.
Interest rates are high and that budgeted interest revenue has increased by $475,000.
Expenditures are expected to be $1.9 million more than what was budgeted.
From the finance narrative: Although we are seeing a decline in enrollment, we continue to see an increase in students with disabilities. Significant and unexpected needs arose after the start of the year, dramatically impacting the budget and conflicting with expectations of decreased agency needs at the time of adoption. Overall, the special education (SPED) budget has been increased by $933,030 due to the following:
$400,000 increase for 5 SPED Teachers
$112,000 increase increase for 2.5 SPED Paraprofessionals
$174,323 increase in sub-costs with the majority related to SPED paraprofessional absences and vacancies
$360,174 increase in contracted agencies
$(229,778) decrease in the General Fund Contribution due to staff being reclassed from Fund 257 to the General Fund
The budget was increased by $488,000 due to an additional increase in 6 secondary teaching Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. Two of the FTEs were increased based on enrollment growth at Venture Academy and an increase in Canfield enrollment above projected amounts. The four additional FTEs were needed due to master scheduling constraints in certain grade levels and an increase in projected enrollment during the summer that some buildings did not experience. The administration has acknowledged that these additional FTEs will need to be adjusted for FY25 based on declining enrollment.
The beginning general fund balance for FY24 was $6.8 million. Of that balance, $4.9 million was set aside for state-mandated contingency reserve, leaving the district a surplus fund balance of $828,732. Because of the decrease in state funding and additional $1.9 million in expenses, it has left the district with a deficit of $788,00. There is a chance that the Legislature will pass a supplemental appropriation bill to cover the support unit decrease, but if that fails the administration recommends that they take $1 million of the last ESSER funds allocated for deferred maintenance and use them to cover the deficit.
Enrollment is down; the FY23/24 budget was estimated with enrollment at 10,090. According to the December 21, 2023 enrollment numbers, the actuals are 9,393 (Virtual Academy are not included in the actuals).