Carson City School District’s general fund revenue will see a $1.7 million decrease for fiscal year 2021-22, stabilizing for now based on recent student enrollment counts but likely to have an impact on future budgets, according to chief financial officer Andrew Feuling.
The district’s Board of Trustees last week approved its augmented and amended budget for 2021-22, a process required by the Nevada Department of Education to adjust for certified enrollment figures and includes an audited fund balance and recommended increases to certain funds. The state’s school districts are required by statute to adopt an amendment to their final budget by Dec. 31 once a final tally of students has been taken.
The Dec. 14 decision serves as a second amended budget after the district made additions with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund stimulus money and Student Activities Fund 279 on June 22.
Carson City continues seeking legislative guidance after the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan’s enactment took effect with Senate Bill 543 in 2019 and SB439 in 2021, which revised revenue sources for the State Education Fund and determined how money is distributed to support public school operations in Nevada. The district complies by tracking its average daily enrollment counts daily for 2021.
According to Feuling, Carson City is watching its ADE counts as 2021 closes, and these figures still wane from last year’s numbers. Carson City, still in hold harmless status, was able to use its prior year’s enrollment data in June of 7,606.1 but adjusted its count this month to 7,703.8.
Feuling said one advantage that might have worked to Carson City’s advantage this year was an adjustment made through SB458 this year, which extends the NDE’s requirement for districts that experience any drops in enrollment from one year to another beyond 5% to a two-year lookback.
“I don’t know if this was a reflection with COVID, but the two-year lookback is looking back not only to 2020-21 but to the 2019-20 school year,” he said.
With an enrollment decrease of 5.07%, CCSD has had about 7,600 students for its average daily enrollment, which is helping to stabilize the district’s revenue for the current school year, Feuling said. This provides good news now, but looking ahead to next year, this two-year lookback goes away, and these revenues are removed, he said. At a weighted enrollment of 7,286, this would result in a $3 million loss in revenue for the 2022-23 school year.
Meanwhile, three separate PCFP accounts for English Learner (206), Gifted and Talented Education (207) and At-Risk (208) have been created to move expenditures from the district’s general fund to these accounts and will be budgeted annually, Feuling said. A bond fund (360) from CCSD’s October bond sale also will help fund the remaining balance for the construction of Eagle Valley Middle School’s expansion project.
Overall, Feuling said December’s budget had been amended to reflect the changes with the 7,703.8 ADE count, with per-pupil support at $7,763. General fund revenues between June and December went down from $72.7 million to $71 million, signifying the $1.7 million drop.
The board approved the budget in a unanimous vote 7-0.