Marietta City School Board Chair Randy Weiner says years of conservative budgeting are why his board doesn’t plan on recommending furlough days, increased class sizes or a reduction in school days to deal with the 2014 budget.
During the board’s Tuesday night budget meeting, board members learned exactly what shortfalls they would be working with next school year. Fiscal year 2014 begins on July 1, 2013.
Erin Franklin, Marietta’s director of finance, anticipates a drop in revenue of 1.8 percent with $74.2 million being collected, and proposed costs of $79.8 million.
The district plans to make up for the $5.6 million deficit by dipping into its $17 million reserve fund.
Budget challenges for fiscal year 2014 include:
- Increasing health benefit costs due to the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
- Losing $700,000 annually in charter system funding from the state.
- Enrollment growth, projected at around 200 new students.
- Increasing state health premiums.
- Federal sequestration and state reductions of grants by 5 to 10 percent.
- The state’s new car tag law that resulted in a loss of SPLOST funding.
Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck said the cost of healthcare has affected non-teaching employees in years past, but this will be the first time they have seen an unanticipated increase for certified teaching positions.
She also wanted to remind the public that these projections are subject to change.
“Depending on how our revenues come in and with the amount of information that we have at this time, it leads us to believe that we will have some different amounts for revenue for FY14,” she said.
Lembeck is happy with the fact that Marietta City won’t be looking at furlough days, increasing class sizes or reducing instructional days to resolve budget woes.
“I do believe that we are looking relatively strong,” she said.
The board’s next budget discussions will be during April and May’s work sessions with an anticipated approval of the final budget by June 18. The state requires school districts to approve all budgets by June 30 of each year.
How is FY13 looking?
The board also learned from Franklin the status of Marietta City’s finances for fiscal year 2013. Of the originally proposed $3.8 million deficit, they are only looking at dipping into its reserves for $875,225.
She broke down the percentage of funding spent on school administration, maintenance and operations, student transportation, central administration, charter system, Marietta High School auditorium and instruction.
In all they anticipate spending around $78.9 million.
The smallest portion of funding was spent on central administration, $2.5 million, and the largest portion on instruction, $57.8 million.
The previous version of this story referenced the year 2103. The corrected date is 2013.