School district readies final budget with increased deficit

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The Carson City School District adopted a resolution approving its final budget and transmittal letter for the 2024-25 fiscal year without making sweeping changes from its tentative budget presented in April.

Chief Financial Officer Spencer Winward reported a slight increase in the total general fund revenue of about $500,000 to $80.3 million, but general fund expenditures are up about $900,000 to $82.9 million. This leaves a deficit of about $2.1 million, including a $1 million contingency, a $210,000 carryforward amount and the projected deficit of $900,000.

The contingency amount, as presented to the Nevada Department of Taxation, is not likely needed, Winward said. Factors impacting the need for the potential reserve include updated salary and benefit costs, which were higher than presented in April. These represent approximately 85% of the overall budget and are its largest expenditure.

There were increases to transportation costs for buses, fuel and utilities, and Winward said there were transfers from its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to be brought over to the general fund as those relief dollars come to an end in September.

Three Pupil Centered Funding Plan funds also received reduced funding than previously shown in the tentative budget based on calculations from the Nevada Department of Education’s biennium update. The NDE uses weighted adjustments to classify students in English Learner, Gifted and Talented and At-Risk categories. Amounts had been decreased by $21,546 in EL (206), $78,597 in GATE (207) and $64,023 in At-Risk (208). This is a relatively new effect of the PCFP formula and the mid-biennium adjustment period in a non-legislative year, Winward explained.

“Aside from the minute adjustments that we did to salary and benefit numbers, we’re not increasing the expenditures any more than that, but the lower revenues are making that increase the amount of those transfers from the general funds to cover the deficits in those funds 206, 207 and 208, which again is At-Risk, English Learner and GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) funds,” Winward reported to the board.

He also noted increased funding from last year’s legislative session is being offset from a decrease in enrollment, which gradually has been declining, officials have announced in the past year.

Nominal changes were made in other district funds, including nutrition services, capital projects and debt services. Universal free meals are ending, and Winward said he would expect some adjustment after receiving more data.

Capital projects funds have been updated to match the capital improvement plan and reflects remodeling work identified from the Facilities Master Plan Committee to begin after the school year ends on Carson High School’s restrooms and chemistry labs.

The trustees approved unanimously the original final budget, which is due to the Department of Taxation by June 10. In December, the district will submit its prior year audit and, with known fall enrollments, submit an amended final budget.


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