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Colo. state finance reviewed; budget parameters set PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Per pupil revenue for Holyoke School District looks to be cut by $360 per pupil for 2011-12. This was reported by Supt. Bret Miles at the May 3 board meeting.

He told the board last week it looks as if the School Finance Act will cut K-12 education spending across the state by $227.5 million.

The School Finance Act bill started with a reduction of $332 million, so some progress was made as the bill made its way through the process.

The reduction will drop Holyoke’s per pupil revenue to $6,848 for the budget year which begins July 1.

There is a provision that could bring an additional $67.5 million to K-12 in Colorado next January if revenue comes in above the expected target.

However, Supt. Miles said it is unlikely to translate into more money for Holyoke. It will first offset lower assessed valuations and increased pupil counts across the state.

Miles said Re-1J budget planning will use the 11 budget parameters which were adopted Tuesday night as a guide, with several assumptions.

First, he said the estimated ending fund balance June 30 will be $1.6 million. Fund balance money available for 2011-12 will be $133,333, which is one-third of the available money above the $1.2 million reserve target.

Total target for reductions is $243,698. This is derived from losses due to state revenue decrease, pupil loss and increased cost for health insurance; and gains from the adjustment for attrition of staff.

Final target for spending reductions is $110,365 ($243,698-$133,333).

 

Budget parameters set

Eleven budget parameters for 2011-12 were approved as follows at last week’s meeting:

—Preliminary budget will be built using a student count of 566, a decrease of 12 pupils, with averaging.

—Preliminary budget may include a portion of the fund balance as revenue as long as it doesn’t exceed one-third of the available money above the $1.2 million target.

—Utilize natural attrition of staff as the first option for staff reductions.

—The district shall make every effort to find efficiencies and make cuts farther away from the classroom when possible.

—Administration should not create any budget scenarios that include salary/wage reductions.

—Funding increased costs of benefits is a priority.

—The board understands that capital projects are a priority, but will allow some flexibility in 2011-12 to reduce the capital expenditures below $180,000 if needed.

—The budget should reflect the priority the board places on core academic subjects and primary grades.

—The board directs the superintendent to begin a process for studying the current compensation, and recommending improvements that may be implemented in the future that are aligned with the board’s goals and can be sustained over time.

—Continue to provide opportunities for two-way communication with employees and the budget and facilities committee about school funding in Colorado and the decisions the district will be facing as the preliminary budget is finalized.

—The district shall continue to explore and evaluate innovative approaches for increasing revenue in an effort to offset the need for ongoing budget cuts.