Columbia Public Schools anticipates more funding from the state this year — but less from the federal government.
The district anticipates $400,000 in new revenue for next school year from state funding sources, including the Foundation Formula, the Classroom Trust Fund and transportation funding, Linda Quinley, the district's chief financial officer said. But she projected about $1 million less in federal funds.
Other increases in the budget come from a projected increase in assessed valuation of properties within the school district. This increase accounts for $3.2 million dollars to the budget, Quinley said.
Speaking at a work session Thursday, Quinley, who is also the district's chief operations officer, presented the proposed budget for the 2017-2018 school year to the school board. The numbers presented were preliminary and could change between now and the final budget that will be presented to the board in June, she said.
“Where we are over in expenditures is the state (funding), and that is a big surprise to us," Quinley said.
Fully funding the Foundation Formula proved controversial in the Missouri General Assembly this year. The House approved funding the whole formula, but Senate leadership opposed it. Eventually, Senate Republicans broke with leadership and joined Democrats to fully fund the formula, which added $45 million to the state's education budget.
Although Quinley anticipates some increased revenue, she projects about $1 million less in federal funding next year. This reduction comes from reduced funding from federal programs including Medicaid, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title funding and eRate funding according to her presentation.
More money might be in store for the district, but it's too early to say, she said.
Quinley said an increase of $860,000 to the 2017-2018 school year is also projected based on an increase from $974 to $1,000 for average daily attendance with Proposition C money.
Prop C is a source of school revenue that comes from sales tax. Money from Prop C is likely to account for $16,655,400 for 2016-2017 school year, which is a .003% increase from the year before and less than what was predicted when the 2016-2017 budget was passed in June 2016, according to the presentation.
The difficulty with predicting revenue sources such as the Prop C fund is that it changes from month to month, Quinley said. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommended schools to budget $1,000 per average daily attendance for the 2016-2017 school year, but that increase in sales tax revenue hasn’t occurred as predicted, Quinley said.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends that $1,012 be allocated for 2017-2018 budgets. This is a 5.17 percent increase from last year.
“We are going to be a little bit cautious about that amount,” Heather McArthur, the district's administrative project manager, said. “We are still at $1,000, and it may come in below that.”
63 percent of the district's funding comes from local sources, and that number is predicted to rise to 65 percent next year. The increases allow the budget to include a $4 million increase in salaries, Quinley said.
The 2017-2018 proposed budget projects $214,492,215 in revenues with expenditures of $213,052,131. This means $1,440,085 would go toward the operating fund balance.
The projected actual budget for the 2016-2017 school year is $211,023,507 in revenues and projected expenditures of $206,860,565. The excess revenue will go toward the operating fund balance and will benefit the district in the long run, Quinley said.
There will be a budget hearing open to the public at 6 p.m. on June 7 at the Aslin Administration Building, 1818 West Worley St. The board is scheduled to vote on the budget at 6:30 p.m. on June 12.
Residents can email budget questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org before June 5.