New board member Bob Jostad, right, talks with new board president Larry Rogers following the Brookings school board meeting Monday night at Mickelson Middle School. Jostad replaces Tom Yseth on the board; Rogers replaces Steve Bayer as board president, and Marysz Rames will serve as vice president for the 2012-2013 school year. Photo by Charis Prunty/Register
• State aid, expenses up slightly this year for Brookings School District, no talk of cuts to services
BROOKINGS – The Brookings School District will increase its expenditures slightly during the 2012-2013 school year, after making cuts for the past two years.
The school district plans to spend $27.6 million next school year, with general fund expenses coming in at $16.96 million, about 3 percent higher than last year.
The school board conducted its first budget hearing during Monday night’s regular board meeting at Mickelson Middle School.
In total, the ’12-’13 budget includes a half-million dollars more in expenses than revenues in the general fund. A general fund balance and the possible transfer of some expenses to the capital outlay fund will pay for the difference.
The district has weathered a permanent, 8.6 percent reduction in its state funding, starting last school year. State aid was $4,487 per student, including some one-time funding, during 2011-2012. For the school year that begins this August, the district will receive a total of $4,521 per student.
In past years, the per-student allowance reached $4,800 per student.
Brian Lueders, district business manager, said the district is projecting 2,979 students this coming year, which would pull in a total of almost $6.4 million in state aid.
State aid comprises more than a third of the district’s general fund revenue; nearly half comes from taxes, the rest in smaller chunks from the county and federal governments, and a few other sources.
General fund money is spent in three main ways: nearly two-thirds on costs related directly to teaching, one-third on support and 5 percent on activities.
Expenses will rise for the coming year. Instructional costs are up by 3.3 percent. That includes a 2.5 percent salary increase for employees, half of which is a permanent raise, and the other half a one-time bonus.
Insurance costs have also risen by nearly 9 percent.
Other new costs include an alternative school the district will open this fall in its Career and Technical Education Center building, which Superintendent Roger DeGroot has said will serve probably six students from the start. Lueders is also budgeting for utility costs to rise slightly.
In the coming year, the capital outlay fund is budgeted to receive about $4.05 million in revenue but spend about $4.3 million. The extra expenses there will be covered by funds carried over from previous years, including funds set aside for textbooks and parking lot repairs.
The district continues to pay off two building projects for which it issued bonds, about $1.2 million in 2012. The Mickelson Middle School will be paid off in 2016 and Camelot Intermediate in 2027.
A new fund, the Enterprise Fund, was created this year when the South Dakota Legislature voted to allow schools to charge for certain optional services, including childcare, driver’s education and ACT prep courses. This fund’s projected revenue and expenses are balanced at $18,500 for 2012-2013. Lueders said the district does charge for driver’s ed and ACT prep, but fees are set just to break even.
The school board will vote on the 2012-2013 budget during its August 13 meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Mickelson Middle School library.
Contact Charis Prunty at firstname.lastname@example.org.