The Hopkins School Board unanimously approved the fiscal year 2021-22 school budget at its June 1 meeting.
Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed said the budget is a culmination of a lengthy and involved process that included building a revenue-based budgeting infrastructure. The infrastructure is complete with predictable staffing models for schools and a digital platform for budget managers to work with their budget, she said.
Director of Business Services Tariro Chapinduka gave a presentation of the budget.
The overall budget is $145,625,795. The general fund budget is currently $106,274,096, which accounts for 73% of the total overall budget for the district. Food services is $3,845,283 or 3% of the overall budget, community education is $7,972,162 or 5% of the overall budget, debt services is $17,795,401 or 12% of the overall budget and construction projects is $9,738,853 or 7% of the overall budget.
“This has been a tough and challenging year from a budgeting perspective because we are still getting numbers from the state,” Chapinduka said. “Some of these numbers eventually will change as we get more information from the state, or as we get more allocations from the federal government.”
Enrollment is how the district calculates its revenue, Chapinduka said. The district has seen a slight decrease in enrollment over the last five years, which amounts to about 2% or 138 students on average daily membership. District officials anticipate that the trend will continue for the near future, he said, adding they are accepting open enrollment students to mitigate the declines.
For the fiscal year 2021-22 budget, the district is working to shift resources to be controlled and managed within the building rather than at a central office, Chapinduka said. They have incorporated a predictable staffing model and budgeted their dollars at a flat rate considering there isn’t a lot of information from the state about what the inflation allowances will be and allocations from the state haven’t been solidified. A 3% cost of living adjustment has been added as well as an additional 2% increase for fringe benefits.
The district is building categorical and discretionary funds, which go into the buildings to complement the base allocations depicted by the predictable staffing model, Chapinduka said. Some of the funds directly channeled into the building include compensatory, achievement and integration as well as Title program dollars, he said.
The general fund budget is structured and balanced, meaning the projected revenue matches the projected expenditures. The budget also factors in stimulus resources, which are one-time funds that fill in some of the gaps the district had with its revenue and expenditure allocations, Chapinduka said.
Sources of revenue for the general fund include the operating referendum, which accounts for about 13% of the fund, location equity, which accounts for 5%, compensatory aid, which accounts for 3.5% and capital projects, restricted to aid in the district’s capital projects related to technological and infrastructure needs, which accounts for 11% of the budget.
A total of $64,286,044 or 60% of the general fund goes toward salaries and wages, $21,857,255 or 21% goes toward benefits, $8,553,664 or 8% goes toward purchased services, $5,752,247 or 5% goes for transportation, $3,934,454 or 4% goes to capital expenditures and $1,758,036 or 2% is for supplies.
Board Chair Jen Bouchard addressed the budget at the end of the presentation.
“No big surprises here for me this evening, very similar to what we approved preliminarily,” she said.