Carson City School District administration building.
The Carson City School District’s general fund revenues for the 2022-23 fiscal year can expect to see a reduction of about $3.3 million, a 4.7% drop from this year, fiscal services director Andrew Feuling reported Tuesday night.
Feuling said during the regular school board meeting that long-term planning remains in place to offset the expected withdrawal of $5 million in Carson City’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief dollars provided by Congress to help schools recover from COVID-19’s impacts on learning.
Overall average daily enrollment numbers have decreased this year. The shift will make a difference heading into 2023 without having a clear prospect of what those revenues will look like, he said. In the state’s budget, special education funding shows a potential 2.5% increase but the impacts are known for the district.
Labor negotiations are in process, he said, with current contracts set to expire June 30. It’s also still too early to know exactly how much staffing turnover the district can expect. Most announcements for staff retirements or resignations come toward the end of the school year and new hires are made before or during the summer.
The district’s nutrition services department, the funds for which typically are transferred from the general fund to cover any deficits, did experience some reprieve when the federal government announced it would continue offering free meals for students. As of Feb. 23, Gov. Steve Sisolak had notified school districts that the state would use federal funds to keep student meals free for 2023 and 2024 under the assumption that Nevada is using its own ESSER funding to pay for them.
“The upside, if that happens is, depending on the reimbursement rates the state will be giving us … we’ll likely then, the next two years, we would not have to transfer funds from the general fund to the nutrition fund, so that’s good,” Feuling said Tuesday.
Carson City School District does remain under the Pupil Centered Funding Plan hold harmless provision for another three to six years potentially, and this depends on legislative funding, Feuling said. The general fund revenue remains frozen at 99.39% of the district’s 2019-20 school year levels per pupil. State funding per pupil also drops by $10 per pupil from $7,763 in FY22 to $7,753 in FY23, which signifies the hold harmless level decreasing in addition to the district’s ADE numbers dropping.
Weighted and auxiliary funding categories for programs such as English learners, Gifted and Talented Education, at-risk students, transportation and nutrition services departments, as well as local special education are showing stable funding totals, Feuling said.
Total general funds currently estimated for FY23, after taking into account the current ADE enrollment estimate of $7,286.5 with the $7,753 per pupil amount provides an adjusted base amount of $59,491,507. This is joined with additional funds of $10,420,204 from other PCFP funds and $810,000 in local or federal funds for a total of $67,721,811, which is approximately $3.3 million less than Carson City’s FY22 total revenue, Feuling said.
Of concern is the ESSER funding that is set to go away by fiscal year 2025, Feuling said, which has provided stability or opportunities to programs that have assisted the district in the short term.
“The conversations are just always there,” Feuling said.
Trustees also asked about shared costs for initiatives or partnerships implemented with the city, such as the school resource officers, the program started by Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong in 2015. The program now includes five officers.
While it is not a legislative year, a helpful factor for now, the district continues to monitor Nevada’s economic health. Administrators also watch the bearings from the former Nevada Plan model to the Pupil Centered Funding Plan created from Senate Bill 543 that changed where revenue streams are directed to better assist students.
The district also has the balance of its $4.4 million in ESSER II funding and the remaining portion of ESSER III money for two more school years, Feuling said.
He will be presenting the tentative budget April 12 for discussion and input and submit to the Nevada Department of Taxation by April 15. The board will hold a public meeting and budget hearing May 24 for approval, and the original final budget will be due to the state June 8.