District prepares budget after state cuts
While the work may be done for students in the De Soto USD 232, the administrators and Board of Education members are getting to work finalizing budgets for the next school year.
The Kansas Legislature, in its 2009 session completed earlier this month, slashed about $130 million from the state budget for public schools. Lawmakers cut the base state aid to districts by $33 in the current fiscal year, then trimmed another $153 per pupil from the 2010 budget.
The cuts were made to help bridge a $328 million deficit in the $13 billion state budget.
But one piece of legislation — Senate Bill 84 — will help ease those cuts by allowing districts to calculate local option budget funds using a base state aid per pupil of $4,433 — the amount authorized for the current school year.
Ken Larsen, director of finances for De Soto USD 232, said being able to calculate the LOB on the higher rate was considerably more helpful to the district. Based on the $4,430 figure, USD 232 will bring in an additional $407,950 for its local option budget, which totals $11.8 million for the 2009-2010 school year.
Nevertheless, the district face millions of dollars in state aid reductions.
At its May 18 meeting, Larsen presented the De Soto USD 232 board with the estimate for next year’s budget and advised the board to use a stakeholder committee’s findings to make $1 million in reductions. If the reductions are made, a deficit of $175,460 would remain.
Larsen suggested a transfer of expenditures $184,000 from the general fund to the capital outlay fund to make up the difference.
Larsen said the district received funds to the capital outlay account every year, allowing for the transfer.
Under the scenario, USD 232 would have a positive balance of $8,540 for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
The 2010-2011 fiscal year will present additional hurdles for both districts.
Larsen said USD 232 could revisit the stakeholders committee’s list of reductions if the Legislature makes additional cuts in public school funding.
“Those aren’t going away; we are keeping that list. If the base state aid is reduced in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, we’ll have to go back to the list and make further reductions,” Larsen said.
Representative from USD 232 will attend a state budget workshop in June. A finalized budget for the district is expected to be completed in August.
The USD 232 Board of Education meets at 6 p.m., June 1 at Administration Building,
35200 West 91st Street.