July 15, 2010

Budget Year Closes $250,000 Ahead of SCR-Is Projections

With uncertainty looming regarding future funding for education, Superintendent Dave Shalley did share some good news with the Scotland County R-I Board of Education at the July meeting.

Shalley released the final report on the fiscal year 2009-2010 budget for the previous school year. The district ended the year with a deficit budget of $114,241.07.

The board had previously approved a projected deficit budget of $370,974.52. Shalley indicated the reduction was the result of conservative revenue estimates that ultimately were exceeded by $203,653.27 revenue over the budgeted amount and $50,495.32 less expenditures than budgeted.

The superintendent noted the district likely will have to continue to dip into the reserves as news out of Jefferson City remains bleak for education funding.

The Governor announced budget restrictions for the FY11totaling $281 million, Shalley told the board.

He highlighted education cuts including a $70 million reduction in transportation aid, elimination of funding for Regional Professional Development Centers, $400,000 reduction in Virtual Schools funding, elimination of $100,000 in Character Plus funding, elimination of the School Health Grant ($4.8 million), $4.1 million reduction in Bright Flight Scholarship Program and a complete elimination of $6.8 million for MOREnet, the internet provider for schools.

The governor stated the cuts were made to preserve the Foundation Formula funding, Shalley said.

The superintendent gave the board a brief synopsis of the state education bill recently signed into law by the Governor.

Some of the provisions included in the bill (as described by the SAC Legislative Bulletin):

If in fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the formula is underfunded or if transportation reimbursement is less than 75 percent, school districts are excused from:

dedicating one percent of their formula funds to professional development;

placing 75 percent of their formula funds in the teachers fund;

placing 75 percent of their Proposition C funds in the teachers fund; and

from teacher salary compliance.

This provision also applies to the fiscal year following a year in which the Governor withholds formula funds. This section contains an emergency clause and becomes effective on July 1, 2010.

If in fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013 the formula is underfunded or transportation reimbursement is less than 75 percent, DESE cannot penalize school districts for failing to achieve resource standards on the MSIP accreditation review. This provision also applies to the fiscal year following a year in which the Governor withholds formula funds.

In years in which state appropriations are insufficient to fund the PAT program, high need or low income children will be served first as defined by DESE, and school districts will be allowed to charge a fee for services based upon an income scale to be developed by DESE. The PAT revisions expire on December 31, 2015.

Removes the requirement to make an annual appropriation for the Career Ladder Program. Beginning in FY12, any state appropriation must be made prospectively. School districts can fund the program in years for which no state appropriation is available. The variable state match is repealed and any state payment will be based upon 60 percent local funding and 40 percent state funding.

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