CDA Schools Present FY24 Proposed Budget
The hot topic of the June 12th Coeur d’Alene School Board meeting was the annual budget hearing for FY24. The board will have a special meeting on June 26th to adopt the budget based on what was presented at the hearing on the 12th.
87% of the budget is staffing.
FY24 revenue is $10.5 million higher than last year, with half the new revenue coming from higher local taxes and half coming from the state.
The state is giving CDA School District $5.3 million in NEW funding.
State is going BACK to Average Daily Attendance for funding; during Covid they were using enrollment to calculate funding (since no one was actually ‘attending’ class). In a previous meeting, the finance director stated that because the state will be going back to ADA, the district estimated that they will be getting LESS support units (employees) funded but MORE money than they have in the past, equaling more money overall even though less “support units” are being funded.
The state has added money to the base salary on the salary matrix. Unfortunately, the CDA School District pays more than what the state recommends so the overall sentiment is a “not good enough” attitude towards the state funding. The state average salary is $57k but CDA School District average salary is $63k. The state pays:
Teachers - $6,359 MORE
Classified (Hourly) - $13,961 MORE
Admin – 4% MORE
Because school district employs more people than what the state allows, district uses levy tax dollars to pay for the extra employees.
State always pays a discretionary amount for the district to use at their own discretion. A percentage goes towards healthcare and a percentage goes toward whatever the district chooses. This year was a $1.2 million INCREASE.
Working budget: rolling budget that includes all salary changes and position changes throughout the year after the proposed budget was approved last year.
There is an $8.8 million increase between the FY23 working budget and FY24 proposed budget.
Reason for budget increase:
Fundraising isn’t good enough for sports equipment, $50k is being allocated to each high school and $15k for the middle schools combined.
Health insurance increases
Property insurance increases
New athletic equipment line item
Building budget increases for inflation
All are ongoing line items except for the $115k equipment line item, and they’re hoping to get more money to keep the equipment ongoing.
They are removing 24 teaching positions because they were too heavy on the teacher to student ratio, saving over $1.7 million. AKA “Right-sizing” positions
General Fund Balance
Contingency reserve must be at least 5% of general fund revenues ($97,818,514).
Unappropriated balance is anything more than contingency reserve.
Ending fund balance currently covers about 1 month of operating expenses.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends 60 days of operating expenses.
The general fund balance is currently at the HIGHEST level in at least the last 15 years.
One note: Child Nutrition will be operating at a deficit because government is going back to pre-C0vid funding formulas, so the district won’t be receiving as much money from the government, coupled with higher food costs and higher salaries.
Goals and Stakeholder Concerns
Inflation (yes but normal people typically cut back, not ask taxpayers to spend more)
Smarter School Spending Program
Last Thoughts By Finance
Forensic audit – doesn’t need to happen because there’s no fraud
Community just doesn’t understand the budget and the Smarter School Spending Program will “show them what we’re doing with our dollars.”