General Fund expenses (after the District makes payments to its pass through schools) has 85% earmarked for salaries and benefits; of that 85%, 35% goes towards employee benefits. PERA (the Public Employee Retirement Association) requires a 20.40% employer contribution and is mandated by the state. Currently 9-R has one of the lowest student-teacher ratios when compared to similar-sized districts.
9-R is projecting $8,335 in per pupil (PPR) funding. When you add in operating mill levy overrides and all other general fund revenues, the district on average spends around $12,259 per pupil, which is calculated by taking the total general fund expenses less the pass through amounts. From 2017-2018 to the 2018-2019 school year pupil membership was down across the District by 13 students and the expected future trends indicate flat growth.
Schools are allocated FTE, or full-time equivalent staffing based on enrollment projections. Schools determine how to distribute this staffing across grade levels and departments. Schools can decide to lower class size or increase intervention and enrichment staff based on input from their communities and staff. Schools are also allocated funds for operations based upon student enrollment. Overall, allocations to school based costs including staffing, make up 90% of the General Fund budget. The central office budget currently is 10%, and this includes all central office, transportation, and facilities staff. Special service providers and nutrition services staff are funded from different funding sources.
Curriculum funding is allocated based on the student population. Schools work in conjunction with district staff to determine program and materials needed based on their student performance and necessary supports. Schools also can access innovation funds and extended learning funds on an application basis based on the needs of their school.
A big impact on the budget right now and the district’s ability to reach its 15% fund balance, or savings.
Here are some of the numbers at a glance:
- $1.1M is additional staff compensation above 2018-2019 levels
- 84% of staff will earn an increase of 2-8%
- Increase in special education needs resulting in increased staffing
- Increase in health insurance contribution of $300k
- Increase in PERA contribution - $75k
- 85% of general fund expenses are in salary and benefits (FAC concern)
- One-time rural funding from the State decreased- $835k to $554k
- Pass through funding to Juniper and Connections Academy to serve their students, $6.9M. (District retains $350,000 to offset expenses of oversight and support)
- Debt service - energy efficiency $290k - saving dollars in utilities
- $1M interscholastics - athletics and activities
- $1.1M capital projects
- $30k after school care for students
- $275k nutrition services - increase in livable wage and keeping meal prices as low as possible
- $200k for innovative programs at school level
- $200k for technology from mill levy for replacements of school based technology
View the current budget available online HERE.