Purdy schools adopt financial plan for 2017-2018

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bond money to cover storm shelter, arts center construction

The Purdy school board adopted its preliminary budget for the 2017-2018 school year, anticipating spending out of savings to complete the planned storm shelter, early childhood and performing arts center.

Superintendent Stephen Chancellor projected income of $6,159,655 in the coming year, and spending at $8,623,333.28. He said income projections remain uncertain in light of “legislator volatility.” Revenue from local property tax and state funding account for approximately 90 percent of the district’s income, he said.

Bond money for construction, secured in the 2016-2017 school year, is being spent in the coming year, equalizing the deficit spending for the year. Money from FEMA is also pledged to the project. Even with this commitment, Chancellor anticipated the district could close the coming year with a surplus in funds. Projected spending represents a reduction of $66,073 from the previous year.

“The budget includes investments in instructional programs for reading and mathematics, a curriculum revision process to ensure consistency and rigor across all grade levels and an intentional focus on teacher development,” Chancellor reported in his budget statement. “The district will also continue a process for increasing the availability of technological resources to students and staff. This includes, but is not limited to, investments in infrastructure, personal digital resources (iPads) and increased support and training.”

Following up on the purchase of six new school buses this past year, the budget includes plans to buy two more buses in the coming year, thus completely replacing the fleet. Chancellor noted steps have been taken in case the cafeteria’s 30-year-old freezer has to be replaced as well.

The district continues to make payments on bond issues from 1997, 2007 and 2016, as well as refinancing of bonds in 2003 and 2011. Payments on principle, fees and interest in the coming year are expected to total $231,731.62.

Board members continue to look at making a major investment in solar energy, which, depending on lease purchase options, may not impact spending in the coming year. The board agreed to review other financing options at its next regular meeting on Aug. 21.

To close the 2016-2016 fiscal year, board members approved transferring $561,711.69 from the general fund, Fund 1, to the fund from which salaries come, Fund 2. Chancellor said money coming into the district goes directly into the general fund and not in the salary fund.

The state legislature allows districts to transfer up to 7 percent of its general fund into a capital improvements fund, Fund 4, by the end of the fiscal year, which ended on June 30. Board members approved a full transfer, totaling $321,640.

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