Area school districts project budgets

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A number of area school districts opened a new fiscal year Saturday.

While some districts project surpluses brought on by increased student enrollment, others are facing budget shortfalls.

 

Sanger

Superintendent Kent Crutsinger said this year’s budget is “in really good shape.”

“This budget is one that I’m really pleased with,” he told board members at a meeting Wednesday. “I couldn’t be more pleased with where we’re at.”

With an almost 70-student increase from the end of last school year to this year’s first week of school, Sanger is projecting an additional $220,000 in state aid, absorbing a $70,561 shortfall in its general fund budget. Crutsinger said enrollment at the end of the 2011-12 year totaled 2,588 students and this week the district has 2,657 students enrolled.

The 2012-13 budget also includes a 2.5 percent pay increase for teachers and 2.25 percent increase for all other staff.

“I’m just excited that we are able to do the things that we are for our teachers,” said Cristy Koonce, board president. “I think us being conservative with our budgets is really paying off. We’re in a good position.”

Koonce said she felt it was important to pass along an increase to staff that have done “more with less” and worked hard for students. In addition to the staff increases, the district is also progressing with its technology initiative, she said.

Last year, the district launched the initiative, which is investing in personal laptops for teachers and students and expanding the district’s wireless infrastructure. Last month, prior to school starting, Sanger High School held orientations and distributed individual laptops to students.

The Sanger school board approved the 2012-13 budget 6-0 Wednesday.

The district projects generating revenue totaling more than $17. 9 million for this fiscal year and expenditures are estimated to total $18 million for the general fund. This excludes the additional $220,000 Sanger expects to receive in state aid as a result of its student enrollment increase.

Revenue generated for the debt service budget is projected to total more than $2.8 million and expenditures for the fund are projected to total more than $2.9 million. The debt service fund budget reflects a deficit of $142,689, which district officials say the district will absorb with the use of reserves.

District officials project a $20,000 surplus for the child nutrition fund budget. Revenue for the fund is expected to total more than $1.13 million, while expenses are estimated to total more than $1.11 million.

The board intends to approve the district tax rate later this month. No changes are projected for the $1.372067 rate, Crutsinger said. With the tax rate as it stands, he said, the district is “going to be just fine.”

 

Lake Dallas

The school district faces a more than $372,000 shortfall to the general fund budget.

Revenue for the 2012-13 year is estimated to total more than $29.98 million while expenditures are more than $30.35 million, nearly $1.4 million more — a 4.81 percent increase — than the 2011-12 year, according to district documents. The documents also indicate the general fund is supplemented with more than $670,000 in federal education jobs monies.

“In terms of the general fund, our budget is based on no real increase in growth/enrollment as the district continues to reach its housing capacity,” Superintendent Gayle Stinson wrote in an e-mail. “In addition, there is no projected tax increase to support the general fund.”

The Lake Dallas school board adopted the budget Tuesday.

Included in the budget is a 3 percent salary increase for all fulltime employees. This follows the 2011-12 year when salaries were frozen because of state funding reductions. The district’s salaries and benefits make up 85 percent of the general fund budget.

As a result of allowing students outside the Lake Dallas school boundaries to attend school in the district through the approval of open enrollment earlier this year, the district accepted 36 students for the 2012-13 year and project to generate an additional $187,500 for the district’s general fund with the inclusion of the additional students.

Lake Dallas school officials project a more than $1,400 surplus for the district’s child nutrition fund, which is projected to generate more than $1.69 million in revenue and have expenditures totaling $1.689 million, according to district documents.

With stagnant property value growth, Stinson wrote the district projects a deficit of approximately $118,000 for the debt service budget. Revenue for the fund is projected to total more than $6.88 million while expenses are estimated to total nearly $7 million.

“The district has sufficient reserves to absorb this shortfall, and there is no projected tax increase to support this fund,” she wrote.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com .

 


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