Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at email@example.com or at 540/735-1975.
More School Budget Info
There are some conflicting conclusions to be drawn from the way the upcoming Fiscal Year 2011 county budget funds schools. Supervisors appropriated school funds by category, a move that seems to jibe with state code here and here, but hasn’t been done in Stafford in recent memory. This means that money appropriated to instruction must be spent on instruction. The rest can be divided among the remaining categories however the School Board sees fit.
So how much did the supervisors appropriate to instruction? $175,492,747. Some supervisors are saying that they fully funded school instruction. Is that true? Probably depends who you ask.
According to a document prepared by county budget gurus, that amount is what the School Board ultimately requested. However, Superintendent Sawyer’s budget asked for $183,119,929. The current Fiscal Year (2010) budget had $181,399,909. The latest expense estimate for the current fiscal year is $169,931,477. The actual Fiscal Year 2009 amount was $177,767,679.
Figures are similar for the county funds involved in the school budget. The school board requested $106,371,217. Sawyer requested the same. the current fiscal year’s budget contained $102,736,533. Schools estimate they will spend $103,808,533 in the current fiscal year, a figure that includes about $1 million in bonus money the county gave schools after discovering a “surprise” surplus last year. The upcoming fiscal year 2011 budget appropriates $100,693,774 in county funds to schools.
When looking at total school operating funds, things look much like the instruction figures. Supervisors appropriated a total operating budget, including state and federal dollars, of $237,261,940 for the coming fiscal year. In a letter to School Board Chairman Dana Reinboldt, Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer wrote that it was a 1.64% ($3,827,643) increase over the current fiscal year. Again, it probably depends who you ask. The figure Dudenhefer and other supervisors are using as a basis is $233,434,297 – the estimated actual amount for the current fiscal year. The budgeted amount for the current fiscal year is $248,480,087 and the actual figure from fiscal year 2009 was $242,405,003. for the upcoming fiscal year, Sawyer requested $251,886,144 and the school board requested $242,939,383.
The supervisors wanted to fully fund classroom expenses, which they did by funding the instruction category. They also wanted to make sure “central office” administrators did not receive pay increases. Since administrators are in their own “Administration, Attendance and Health” budget category, they should not benefit from the full funding of instruction. Aside from the instruction category, supervisors reduced school expenses 2.73 percent, the same as other county agencies aside from the Sheriff and Fire and Rescue.
To sum up:
County Funds for School Operating Budget
FY09 Actual: $90,345,267
FY10 Adopted Budget: $102,736,533
FY10 Estimated Actual: $103,808,533
FY11 Supertintendent Request: $106,371,217
FY11 School Board Request: $106,371,217
FY11 Approved Budget: $100,693,774
Total School Instruction Budget:
FY09 Actual: $177,767,679
FY10 Adopted Budget: $181,399,909
FY10 Estimated Actual: $169,931,477
FY11 Supertintendent Request: $183,119,929
FY11 School Board Request: $175,492,747
FY11 Approved Budget: $175,492,747
Total School Operating Budget:
FY09 Actual: $242,405,003
FY10 Adopted Budget: $248,480,087
FY10 Estimated Actual: $233,434,297
FY11 Supertintendent Request: $251,886,144
FY11 School Board Request: $242,939,383
FY11 Approved Budget: $237,261,940