The Pattonville Board of Education on June 12 reviewed a proposed $99 million balanced operating budget for the 2018-2019 school year. A vote is expected on the budget during the June 24 meeting. This is the fifth year in a row the district has achieved a balanced budget. Pattonville is able to continue to maintain a balanced budget as a result of voter approval of Proposition P in 2013. Prop P provides additional revenue and prevented the need to cut $10 million from the district budget after already cutting $8 million between 2007 and 2013.
The 2018-2019 budget was established based on several factors:
- Minimal change in health costs - The rising cost of health insurance continues to be a major concern nationally, but due to proactive measures in prior years, the district had zero percent increases in health and dental insurance during the last four school years. For the 2018-2019 school year, the district anticipates a small increase in health insurance rates of approximately 3.5 percent.
- Three-year agreement with staff - Pattonville is completing the final year of a three-year agreement in which teachers and support staff receive an overall 3.75 percent increase in salary and benefits each year; however, the actual cost to the district is lower due to staff retirements and resignations, many of them due to a separation incentive plan (SIP) offered in 2016. As a result of the SIP and minimal increases in health insurance costs, the actual increased cost of salary and benefits has been approximately 2.8 percent over the length of the three-year agreement.
- One percent increase in property values - Pattonville's revenues are based on the assessed value of property in the district, which grew by an estimated 1 percent due to new construction in the district.
- Normal textbook purchasing - For the fifth year in a row, the district is budgeting $1 million for its normal textbook adoption cycle.
- Capital spending on high-priority needs - The new budget includes the purchase of four new school buses, two maintenance vehicles, replacing middle school laptops with iPads, lease payments for student and teacher laptops and iPads, energy improvements at Holman Middle School and Willow Brook Elementary School, instrument replacements, copier and printer leases and computer-aided design (CAD) lab replacements.
- Full funding in state formula, but not transportation - The district anticipates receiving its full educational funding under the state's Foundation Formula, which makes up approximately 5 percent of the district's budget. However, as in years past, Pattonville expects to be underfunded by the state for transportation costs by nearly $1 million and has budgeted accordingly.
- Addressing commercial tax appeals - Tax appeals by commercial property owners continue to be a budget focus for the district. Over the past year, nearly $1.5 million was refunded to commercial taxpayers for appeals dating back to the 2007 tax year, which are in line with annual averages the district has refunded over the last decade. The district has budgeted $1.2 million to address anticipated tax appeal refunds in 2018-2019.
Approximately 86 percent of Pattonville's funding comes from local taxes, with a small amount of support from state and federal resources.
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