Carson City School Board OKs $67M budget with $2M deficit
The Carson City School Board approved a $67 million budget for 2018-19 and also approved more than $14 million in capital projects at its meeting on Wednesday.
A deficit of nearly $2.2 million is projected in next year’s budget. While revenue is projected to be more than $65 million, expenses are projected to be more than $67 million.
Even with the projected deficit, the district still has a healthy reserve. The reserve is projected to fall from about $12.8 million to $10.6 million, which is 15.7 percent of the budget, well above the required 8.3 percent.
Andrew Feuling, district director of fiscal services, said he said he expected the projected deficit to be lower by the end of next school year. He also noted about $1.1 million in curriculum costs that’s a one-time expense adds to that deficit, so if that expense wasn’t there the deficit would be cut in half.
The other big hit to the budget comes in special education. Feuling said while special education revenue makes up 4 percent of the budget, special education expenditures take up 10 percent of the budget.
Another area Feuling hopes will reduce the deficit is nutritional services. The budget projects a $250,000 deficit in nutritional services, but Feuling said he hopes the program can break even, thus reducing the deficit by $250,000.
Staff salaries and benefits make up 76 percent of the budget which is about normal for a school district.
Feuling noted total per pupil revenue in the district has increased by just less than $900 since 2007 from $7,560 in 2007 to $8,432 for 2018-19.
“We don’t have an expenditure problem, we have a revenue problem,” he said.
When talking about the capital projects in 2018-19, Feuling said the money “will just be spent in dramatic fashion” as he referred to the more than $14 million to be spent. The capital projects are funded by the district’s reserve capital fund and bonds.
Two of the major projects to be completed next school year will be a 10,000 square foot building at Pioneer Middle School and a science, technology and math lab at Carson Middle School. It’s expected the CMS lab will be completed close to the start of next school year.
The building at Pioneer will include biology, career technical education and chemistry labs, a library and a multipurpose area. Two buildings have already been remodeled and a classroom added at Pioneer.
Projects finished this year included the addition of classroom space at Fritsch Elementary School. Other major projects at Fremont and Mark Twain will be completed next school year.
Carson High School will also receive a new PA system at a cost of $87,000. But district officials said the field turf at the CHS stadium shouldn’t have to be replaced until about 2022, which would cost about $500,000.
But Feuling noted if the district wanted to build another elementary school in the next year-and-a-half, the cost would be about $40 million and the district only has the bonding capacity of about $20 million to build a school, so the district would be able to build just half a school.