Archive for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

District has at least $1.9 million budget gap in 2010-2011

February 10, 2010

De Soto USD 232 continues to face a $1.9 million deficit for the 2009-10 school year, and additional cuts to state funding may by on the way.

Ken Larsen, USD 232 director of finance, gave an overview of the budget for the 2009-10 school year and estimates for the 2010-11 school year at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

Larsen said his projections were based on current base state aid per pupil, but he doubted cuts by the state were over as the Kansas Legislature continues to struggle with balancing the state budget.

“We don’t have the figures yet, but this is probably not the end here,” he said.

Projections based on a base state aid per pupil of $4,012 shows a deficit of $1.89 million for the current school year.

Estimated revenue for the general and local option budget funds for the year totals $46.2 million, while the expenditures in the same funds total $48.1 million.

Transferring some eligible maintenance and ground expenditures from the district’s general fund to the capital outlay, as well as attrition and a transfer from the district’s contingency fund would balance the end of the year budget, Larsen said.

The 2010-11 school year shows an increase in net revenue, due in part to $697,038 in new facilities weighting because of the opening of the district’s seventh elementary school, Larsen said. Nevertheless, he said the district was looking at a deficit of $1.9 million for the 2010-11 school year.

A list of potential new revenue sources to be investigated by the district include activity participation fees, building use fees, school fees, expansion of the local option budget by 1 percent, transportation fees, going to a four-day school week, doing away with block scheduling and possibly lengthen school days to shorten the school year.

Board members did not act on the budget report.

In other action Monday, the board:

• Approved moving the Early Childhood Education program from Countryside Learning Center to the new Belmont Elementary School at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

In January, Joan Robbins, director of special services, presented the board with the option of moving the program to Belmont or Mize elementary school. After meeting with staff, the decision was made to recommend Belmont. The district could expect increased revenue of $30,090 from the move because of new facilities weighting available at the new school.

• Approved moving the district’s ACCESS program from Mill Valley High School to the Technology Center.

ACCESS is a program for students 18 to 21 years of age who are still eligible to receive special education services. The program provides the students with additional time to obtain employability and life skills such as, cooking, cleaning, shopping and vocational training.

Moving the program seeks to obtain additional space, including a kitchen, and the ability to partition rooms. The Technology Center also offers close proximity to community and employment opportunities in downtown De Soto, officials said.

• Approved purchase of the Alexandria Library System for the district for a start-up cost of $24,000 and annual licensing and maintenance of $6,996. The recommendation came after news the district’s current library management system is being phased out due to its purchase by a competitor.

Another factor in the decision is the opening of Belmont Elementary in August 2010.

Earl Martin, director of teaching and learning, recommended the district purchase the Alexandria system, so all schools could use a common system starting in the 2010-11 school year.

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