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St. Vrain Valley school board adopts amended 2014 budget

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By Ben Wiebesiek

LONGMONT — The St. Vrain Valley School Board unanimously adopted an amended budget Jan. 22 for the rest of the school year, which reflected changes to how the state funds K-12 education.

District Budget Director Greg Fieth reported to the school board before the vote on how the district’s projections fit the school year so far.

 

“Our adopted budget had us ending up with about $45 million ending fund balance for this year,” Fieth said. “We actually started this year at about $61 million, and a portion of that is because we had expenditures planned for last year that we didn’t get accomplished by June 30, so that money carried over into this year.”

Fieth said the district’s total program funding, which is funded by the state on a per-pupil basis, saw approximately $3.3 million in additional revenue beyond the budget’s initial projections due to 511 additional students.

“Total program comes from three different areas, one is property tax (local), another one is specific ownership taxes (which is local), and the third is state equalization,” Fieth said. “So that is the difference between what property taxes and specific ownership taxes provide us compared to what we get in terms of total program funding.”

Two of those sources turned out to be lower than the district’s forecasts, Fieth said.

“So when we look at property tax revenue, we forecast about  $2.7 million higher than what we certified in December for our assessed valuation,” Fieth said. “So revenues decreased in terms of property taxes by $2.7 million. In terms of specific ownership tax, we revised the forecast for that down a half a million dollars.”

But these reductions were backfilled by the state, Fieth said.

“So to get back to our $3.3 million that we were supposed to increase, state equalization is actually going to increase by about $6.5 million,” Fieth said. “That was before the state put in a rescission, and the rescission is due to the fact the Legislature didn’t appropriate enough money last spring. And so, for us, that’s about a $40 reduction per student.”

That reduction equates to $1.1 million district-wide, Fieth told the board.

“There has been a supplemental request put in place at this point by the Colorado Department of Education for that,” Fieth said. “However, we don’t know the results for that, so when we do our amended budget, we budget based on best-known facts at the time.”

These best-known facts led the district to assume that it wouldn’t get recover the lost $40-per-pupil revenue, although that remains a possibility.

School Board President John Creighton asked when the state was expected to decide on the supplemental request, and Fieth replied that the decision was expected “at the end of the month.”

“So then, if they do make that appropriation, and we’ve already amended the budget …” Creighton started to ask.

“Then we would receive that money — it’s not like we wouldn’t receive the money — we would get that additional revenue and it would fall to the bottom line,” Fieth said. “So it would go to our ending fund balance.”

 

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.