Atlantic School District administrators await funding info. for budget setting
January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
Members of the Atlantic School Board held a discussion Monday night on the district’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said there is still a lot of uncertainty as to how much the district will receive in allowable growth, which is one of the factors they use to prepare the budget. Amstein said the scenarios include legislators passing a zero-percent allowable growth, to as much as six-percent, which is a pie in the sky, best case situation. In reality, he’s hoping for three-percent allowable growth. The weighted Certified Enrollment for the past year was 1,429. Amstein says with zero-percent allowable growth, the budget guarantee means the district would still get 85,625 new dollars for the upcoming year.
If the legislature were to pass allowable growth of three-percent, Amstein says the district would realize 275,000 new dollars. He says that would be helpful to the district in providing services and instruction to students. The per student funding would increase from the current $6,065 to $6,185, at three-percent. He says there’s been some talk about eliminating allowable growth altogether, but it’s too early to know if that will come to fruition and another formula will replace it to repurpose those funds.
Amstein said also, he expects Taxable Valuation to remain the same at two-percent. Other areas the district is waiting for more information on, include: what will become of the Management Levy, for which there is one-year left to pay for the early retirement incentive. He says that levy needs to be maintained at the current level. Other unknown factors include property and casualty insurance premiums, and, how to pay for a full-time School Resource Officer. He says there are no funds, other than those from the General Fund, to pay or share the costs for, an SRO. One option would be to increase the Cash Reserve Levy.
And, there’s the matter of Debt Service, which impacts Capital Improvement Projects, as well expenses for the Hospital School.