Budget & Cost Containment
District to Develop Budget Proposal to Address Shortfalls
The 2019 Referendum asked voters for an operating levy increase of $550 per student, or approximately $5.6 million per year to continue the strong academic preparation of our students, prevent cuts to programs and services, maintain class sizes and manage growing enrollment in our district. The operating levy was not approved by voters. Without this funding, expenses will continue to outpace revenue and the district now needs to make budget cuts moving forward.
For years, state funding has not kept pace with inflation or increasing operating costs, and does not close the funding gap for our special education services. The district has worked hard over the last decade to implement cost containment measures to minimize classroom impacts. These budget cuts totaled nearly $10 million in the last decade – including $3.5 million in the last three years alone. Over the last two years, the School Board chose to use $5.0 million in unassigned fund balance in addition to those cuts to avoid impacts on school programs and services. It is not sustainable to continue to draw from the fund balance.
With the failure of Question One in the November referendum, the school district is now faced with the task of developing a budget proposal to address upcoming shortfalls. At a minimum, and in order to maintain at least a 5% fund balance, the district needs to make more than $10 million in cuts over the next three years — at least $5 million in the 20-21 school year.