At the March 19 Board meeting, School Business Official Georgia Gonzalez identified the district’s expenses and potential budget additions for 2019-20.
The budget is guided by the district’s strategic plan, which focuses on advancing curriculum and programs, meeting student social and emotional needs and providing safe and welcoming schools for all students. The budget is being developed by a budget committee, comprised of district leaders, educators and board of education members.
While the proposed budget for 2019-20 is still under development, the district expects that current programs and services will be maintained next year.
Potential budget additions that have been discussed include an after-school tutoring program at the middle and high school and field maintenance equipment for the soccer, softball and baseball fields.
School safety and operational effectiveness continue to be central to the district’s planning. Budget considerations for next year also include an additional school resource officer (SRO) and a new truck and/or maintenance equipment for the buildings and grounds department.
The district is projecting increased costs in areas such as employee health insurance premiums and workers’ compensation insurance. State aid is one of the district’s main revenue sources, but for many years, it has been below the level prescribed by law. As of press time, the district estimates a revenue deficit of $359,432.
On March 19, Mrs. Gonzalez outlined three ways the district could make up for the deficit in revenue for 2019-20. Those options include:
- reducing expenses;
- expending unappropriated fund balance* (see note below); or
- increasing the tax levy.
The district will finalize its budget proposal in April. The Liberty Central School District Board of Education will adopt the proposal on April 23, and district residents will vote on the proposed budget on May 21.
Budget development at Liberty will continue until the district adopts its budget on April 23. Mrs. Gonzalez will present additional information on the budget during the board’s April 9 and 11 meetings. Regular budget updates will continue to be posted to the district’s website for those who are unable to attend board meetings.
*If revenue collected for the school budget remains at the end of a district’s fiscal year, that money becomes part of its fund balance. Districts must adhere to state laws that govern how fund balance can be spent. Options include applying it to a future budget in the form of revenue, earmarking it for anticipated future needs and/or saving it for unexpected emergencies.