The Clintonville School Board learned at its April 28 meeting that the preliminary 2014-15 school year budget shows a General Fund deficit of $428,487.
Lynette Edwards, who will be taking over as business manager in the district on July 1, presented the preliminary budget. She said the budget calendar was approved by the board in December. An updated budget will be approved by the board in May. The final budget will be approved at the annual board meeting in August.
Edwards stressed this was a preliminary budget and that the district is dealing with a lot of estimates and unknowns. She said key future dates include: the Sept. 19 third Friday count, the end of September certification of equalized values, and the end of October state aid recalculation.
“Since all of these play a really big role in the budget it’s easy to see why this is considered really just an initial estimate,” Edwards said.
Pupil membership is one of the main drivers of the district’s revenue limit, Edwards said. Two rolling membership averages are used to determine the district’s revenue limit. The Clintonville School District has been near or below the state average over the last several years when it comes to the per member revenue limit.
Edwards went through the different funds the district has. Most of the funds were balanced. That’s wasn’t the case for the General Fund 10. This fund is used to account for all financial transactions relating to the district’s current operations, except for those required to be accounted for in other funds.
“The initial budget for 2014-15 is estimating a General Fund 10 deficit of $428,487,” Edwards told the board. “Again, the district is working with several estimates and unknowns at this time. And the board and the administration is working really hard on this and expect to present a balanced budget in May for approval.”
Edwards said it is currently unknown what the levy will be for General Fund 10. This won’t be known until the district receives the equalized valuations and the final state aid estimates. She said the levy for Fund 39, which is for referendum approved debt will decrease because of advanced refunding.
“According to the current schedule, the debt service levy remains fairly constant moving forward and as you can see the remaining debt will be paid off in eight years, at the end of the 2021-22 school year,” Edward said.
Salaries and benefits make up the largest portion of the budget — 81.6 percent. This figure is lower than previous years. Edwards said that is typical for a school district in Wisconsin, as they usually fall between 80 and 85 percent.