Last year, the district received $3,903 per pupil in SEEK funding, but during his budget address earlier this month, Gov. Steve Beshear said school districts would receive $3,833 per pupil in SEEK funding over the next two years.
Based on a projected 5,449 students, the district should receive $486,559 less in SEEK funds for the upcoming school year, Dr. Bob Wagoner, a consultant with School Financial Associates, told the board.
Wagoner said the estimate was based on funding anticipated in the final state budget.
But Wagoner said that even with the lost state funding, the district is still in good financial shape and better able to absorb the losses than many districts around the state because of its healthy contingency fund.
“The good news is that even with the adjustments, you will still have a $4.9 million contingency fund, which means as a district, you have some flexibility in how you deal with that without having to do anything with your instructional programs to keep yourself solvent,” Wagoner said. “You’ve worked hard over the last several years to put yourself in this position. We’ve always talked about the fact that some day there could be a rainy day. Well, I would suggest to you that the next two years are going to be rainy days.”
Along with the state revenue cuts, the draft budget projects a decrease in federal funds of a little more than $21,000 from last year’s final budget.
Based on last year’s school tax rate and rate of collection, the 2012-2013 draft budget projects an increase in total local revenue of about $250,000, but Wagoner said those numbers also could change before the final budget if the collection rate is lower this year.
The draft budget does not contain an across-the-board raise for school personnel, but does include step raises based on years of experience, which means an increase in salaries and benefits of a little more than $646,000.
“From my perspective, I’ve always said we want to try really hard to keep expenses within revenues, but we’re in a period in time where that may not be possible, but as long as you control what you are doing and you understand what you are doing, you can manage that,” Wagoner said. “I think you are positioned well. There is not really any reason to spend a whole lot of time on what-ifs.”
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.