The Anoka-Hennepin School District approved its 2021-22 budget June 28.

Since the district’s draft budget was proposed in May it has adjusted its estimates of revenue and expenditures. In May the district had estimated revenue would fall $5.5 million short of last year. Now it expects revenue will be only $2.9 million less than last school year. The revenue decrease is mainly due to a $9.3 million drop in federal revenue, which is offset by a $1.3 million increase in property tax revenue and a $5 million increase in state revenue.

The stark decrease in federal revenue relates to COVID-19 relief funds accounted for in last year’s amended budget.

The general fund expenditures add up to $551.3 million — $4 million less than 2020-21, or about a 0.7% drop. This is about a $2.5 million increase from the May estimate.

The district’s approved food service fund anticipates a $341,022 drop in total revenue. That accounts for a $423,869 increase in federal revenue, but more than a half-million-dollar drop in local sales, due to loss in a la carte sales.

The district will serve free lunch to all students again this year.

“[The food service department is] doing some conservative budgeting with the uncertainty of the pandemic and the recovery and what happens with the free meals,” Chief Financial Officer Michelle Vargas said. “We’re still trying to see how that shakes out with the second year.”

Serving free lunches generally means a la carte sales will continue to decrease, because if students are receiving lunches at no cost, they likely won’t spend money on extra items, Vargas said.

The district should receive around 55 cents a meal from the state for the free lunches, Vargas said.

Even with a $189,715 supply expense increase, the district’s food service expenses will decrease by $115,420 overall due to a significant decrease in equipment purchases because of uncertain funding.

The community service fund expects a $2.3 million increase in revenue and a $1.8 million increase in expenditures.

This revenue includes a $1.7 million increase from Adventures Plus revenue, anticipating a post-pandemic enrollment return rate of 79%, Vargas said. The remaining $669,000 is for other community education programs districtwide, Vargas said.

The capital projects fund revenue is down 97%, to $15,000, and expenditures are down $67.5 million, to $14.5 million, because many major projects are wrapping up, Vargas said. The funds balance is about $11.1 million.

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