The Camp Verde Unified School District will have to move some money around and look at some possible cuts in order to produce a balanced budget for the upcoming 2011-2012 fiscal year, which begins Friday, July 1.
The district will be faced with some reduced sources of revenue to fund its multimillion dollar overall budget, according to district Business Manager Janet Leuer.
Superintendent Dan Brown told the board that Leuer and district staff have been going over the numbers, trying to provide several options to the board as they prepare to crack their knuckles and get to work on a new spending plan.
Leuer gave a report last week at the school board’s April 26 meeting; district leaders had been waiting to get a clearer idea of what the state’s education spending could look like, a major source of funds for public school districts outside of property taxes.
The state decides how to allocate some funding on the basis of the average daily enrollment in the school system after the first 100 days of school. This year, the district lost 43 students, Leuer said, but it is hoped enrollment will increase in the coming year.
There are also other required spending increases, Leuer said, including money for a program that pays for employees to further their education and training. Insurance costs are also going up, but only by around 1 percent or $6,500, a marginal increase that Leuer credited to the work and efforts of district Director of Operations Chris Schultz.
There are other potential increases that the board will also likely have to address in the coming weeks leading up to the beginning of the fiscal year, Leuer said. That includes a decision on whether or not to pick up the cost of increases in employee retirement plans.
“We should be concerned,” Brown said. “We don’t want to see teachers making less than they did the year before.”
Leuer said the board had a variety of options on the table, including the possibility of reducing kindergarten classes to a half-day.
The school budget is divided into several categories, including maintenance and operations — the money it takes to keep the school district up and running on a daily basis.
As things stand now, Leuer said the board could expect to have to find around $415,000 to fill the gaps in that fund.
The district has about $800,000 being carried over in capital funding, money used for projects involving things like equipment purchases. Leuer said the district has been able to save that kind of money through being “frugal” with spending. The board could possibly move $120,000 worth of new capital funding coming in over to the maintenance and operations budget, Leuer said, money that could help to start closing that $415,000 hole.
There are some strings, however.
“Once we move money over, we can’t move it back to capital,” Leuer said.
The school district could also turn to impact funds, Leuer said, money from the government that’s intended to mitigate the impact from students whose families don’t pay into the property tax system the district depends on for funding.
In Camp Verde, that largely includes children who live on the Yavapai-Apache Nation reservation.
The board must have a new budget ready for the beginning of the fiscal year July 1.
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