Saturday, September 19, 2015

Starting FY17

Hey, don't blame me: Mayor Petty brought it up!
You may possibly have missed the response to the very first question asked about the opening of school report on Thursday:
Petty: what does a level enrollment do to us?
Allen: level enrollment would essentially make our budget flat for next year
Second factor to consider is inflation: currently inflation factor is negative "for the second time ever"
that would drive down our foundation budget
once we have the enrollment number and the inflation number, we'll know our foundation budget*
71 students isn't much of a jump for us on students, so that doesn't make for much of an increase. While increases in numbers of students who have special education or ELL needs would also figure into this, those amounts aren't particularly substantial. If you remember, over and over (and over and over) again, we were reminded this past year that the only reason FY16 wasn't terrible for us was the substantial increase in students we saw the year before.
We aren't seeing that this year.

So if enrollment doesn't go up, and inflation goes DOWN, we're in trouble.
As a district that lives only on its foundation budget (or 99.3% of our foundation budget), this is where we're at.
A few things to work on, then:
  1. This would be a very good year for the city to start making up ground and funding the schools at something over foundation. Otherwise, we will lose ground.
  2. The Foundation Budget Review Commission absolutely needs to take up inflation, and the Legislature needs to follow suit. That our budget next year depends on how much districts and cities bought this year is silly. We need a better, more realistic factor.

*Note that this goes directly to the point I made earlier this week: once you know those two things (which is before December), you know your foundation budget.

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