School district sees $1.97M drop in general fund revenue

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Continuing declines in student enrollment numbers are impacting Carson City School District’s general fund revenues, Chief Financial Officer Spencer Winward told the district’s board of trustees on Dec. 12.

At year’s end, the school district has an opportunity to amend the budget it approves in June and make final changes. For fiscal year 2022-23, general fund revenues were calculated at $79.5 million based on average daily enrollment projections of 7,191, but the state has fixed Carson City’s student numbers at 6,999, leading to $77.5 million in revenue, a $1.97 million difference.

Overall, with all of the changes this year, CCSD is left with an approximate $4.5 million deficit for which board members said tough decisions will have to be made in the coming months.

“Even though there was more money put in (this legislative session), there’s always that potential of it not being enough,” Trustee Mike Walker said. “There are fiscal people pointing out there wasn’t anything done to change the revenue toward education, but it was the state got lucky with sales tax dollars. There was additional money that went toward schools, but is that sustainable?”

Trustee Joe Cacioppo considered the district fortunate it is not on a fiscal cliff thanks to the financial management of Winward and Superintendent Andrew Feuling, who served as CFO before him.

“We’re in great shape considering where we can be,” Cacioppo said. “It’s not an easy task.”

During amended budget discussions, the district also makes its general fund transfers. Overall, there had been $8.9 million in June for transfers, and this was reduced to $8.2 million this month.

Winward said special education fund transfers had dropped considerably since the district’s previous budget did not take into account for much of an ending fund balance, which totaled $1.4 million.

“We budgeted about $400,000 in additional (dollars), but that transfer is reduced by $1 million because we’re recognizing an updated starting fund balance from $250,000,” he said.

Nutrition services and summer school funds have had no need for transfers. Nutrition is enjoying universal free coverage, and summer school is covered by federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, which must be spent before September 2024.

Staffing costs decreased from $62.1 million in June this year to $61.9 million in December, Winward said, but is making preparations as ESSER funds end next year. Approximately 12 positions are left to be moved from ESSER to the general fund.

“In the FY24 budget, we’ve moved 24 positions out of ESSER, and that has allowed us a good step down as opposed to approach the end of next year and have a large dropoff,” he said.


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