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District Budget Update for the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year

posted Apr 18, 2017, 12:12 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 12:13 PM ]
Chuck McCauley
This headline from KOTV created quite a stir on Thursday, April 13, 2017: State Lacks Cash For April School Payrolls Prompting Another School Budget Cut.

Knowing we had to build up our depleted fund balance, our district made significant personnel cuts before August 2016 to reduce our annual expenditures by $1.2 million. At this point, we are on track for a net cut of approximately $900,000 in state funding. So the conservative budget the Board of Education adopted last summer means we will have no problem making our payrolls.

Additionally, in August 2016 the Bartlesville community voted overwhelmingly to increase property taxes in order to shift at least an additional $700,000 in annual operating expenses from the district’s general fund to bond funds.  Because we received bond funds in the middle of this school year, we were able to shift about $450,000 for this fiscal year. We will shift a minimum of $700,000 for 2017-2018.

We continue to make tough decisions such as streamlining administrative positions. Those reductions will reduce our annual district expenditures by approximately $160,000, adding to $292,000 in annual savings created by the elimination of three central office administrative positions for the 2016-2017 school year. We do not anticipate other significant personnel reductions will be needed.

So our budget priorities for 2017-2018 have not changed. They are to:

  • rebuild the district fund balance
  • protect existing programs
  • expand STEM curricula into the elementary schools
  • expand use of instructional technology
  • recruit and retain talented teachers by maintaining class sizes, providing salary increases, and improving school culture

The state revenue failures mean our district fund balance at the end of the fiscal year will be around 7%, whereas a few months ago we were on track to end at around 10%.   

Chuck McCauley