Mounds View School Board approves 2013-14 budget assumptions

Building site budget committees will begin to meet 

The Mounds View School Board on Jan. 22 unanimously approved the budget assumptions for next school year.

Each year at this time, school budget committees are formed to advise each school principal on the use of resources allocated to the site from the district’s budget. Along with resource allocation, committees receive a list of parameters and timelines to guide the process and ensure that budget decisions will be equitable across the school district.

The assumptions are based on information from the amended budget from the current school year and School Board input, said Director of Finance Carole Nielsen.

“If we see significant changes coming out of the legislative session, we will bring them forward as the time allows,” she said. “We’re hopeful there will be positive changes for funding mechanisms.”

When looking at revenues, enrollments for next school year are projected to “tick up slightly,” Nielsen said. For the 2013-14 school year, a total of 10,068 students are projected, compared to 10,033 projected for the current school year.

Total operating revenues are projected to be approximately $113.4 million for next school year.

Regarding instructional expenditures, the district would need 394.9 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff based on projected enrollment numbers and because at least 90 percent of classrooms will fall within the School Board’s class size assumptions.

The superintendent will have 14 FTEs to support reading and math intervention programs at varying levels in each of the district’s school buildings, Nielsen said. Supt. Dan Hoverman will also have eight FTEs discretionary points available to address budgetary needs as enrollment numbers become more stable.

Regarding instructional support expenditures, building support staff budget options will be developed collaboratively by site budget committees. The allocation will be based on the 2012-13 budgets with adjustments for salary and fringe benefits. The total allocation will be approximately $5.1 million.

The transportation program will maintain walking distances to two miles for all school sites. A $225 fee per student during the registration time frame will be required for services within the two miles. Families who qualify for free and reduced lunch will receive a fee waiver. The maximum is set at $500 per family.

The high school co-curricular program will be maintained at the 2012-13 funding level, Nielsen said. Additional program needs will continue to be met by booster donations, fundraising and other gifts to the program. Families who qualify for free and reduced lunch will receive a fee waiver. The maximum is set at $700 per family.

Other expenditures that will increase include a 2 percent increase to non-salary budget lines and a 2.5 percent increase to transportation contract expenditures with no change to utilities for gas, fuel oil and electricity.

The superintendent will have $30,000 in discretionary funds to address developing priorities as the School Board directs. Total operating expenditures are projected to be about $120.1 million for next year.

Nielsen said a budget adjustment totaling $200,000 will go toward added security measures for building entrances, which includes school resource officers.

In summary, the district is projecting an unreserved fund balance of about $21 million by June 30, 2013. Based on the identified assumptions for projected revenues, expenditures and budget adjustments for fiscal year 2013-14, the district will end the fiscal year with an unreserved fund balance of about $14 million.

Nielsen said staff will continue to work on very detailed line items of budget documents. After a budget review process, the School Board will vote on authorizing final approval at their last meeting in June.

School Board member Lisa Sjobeck said the district employs a pretty conservative approach to the budget, which has been working well even from a staffing perspective, because class loads can shift from class to class or building to building.

Other business

The School Board presented its mid-year evaluation of Supt. Hoverman. “The School Board thanks you, Dan, for your service as superintendent,” said Board member Greg Madsen. “Once again, we’d characterize this as a very good appraisal.”

Supt. Hoverman said, “I have to say that it is truly a team effort; it always is. You’re a wonderful board to work with and work for.” He added that the support, questioning and push back from the Cabinet, principals and teachers makes sure that the school district is moving in new directions in the right ways.


Contact Kassie Petermann at [email protected]