Well, I guess the good news is that the legislature has finally wrapped up the 2011 General Session. Who would have thought that it would carry on this long? There was quite a bit of activity in regard to the education budget, but I want to just spend a few moments letting you know what the key points are for our school district.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the allowable growth rate for this school year was set at zero. We had anticipated this and budgeted accordingly. The main point here is that we are on the budget guarantee, which allows for a 1% increase in the Regular Program District Cost. That is an approximate increase of $41,000 in revenue. Interestingly, the budget guarantee is funded solely through property taxes. If allowable growth had been set at a range between 1% and 3%, it would not have impacted the growth of the Regular Program District Cost; however it would have actually lowered your property taxes. It is pretty difficult to explain using this blog, but if you would like to come in and visit with me I would be happy to explain how the budget guarantee works and the impact it has on property taxes.
The budget bill that was passed also provides for 2% allowable growth in fiscal year 2013. You will recall that the Governor insisted on 0% allowable growth for FY13. It will be worth watching in the next thirty days to see if he uses his line item veto pen to strike this from the budget.
The district also utilizes the Instructional Support Levy for General Fund Expenses. Part of this levy in the past has been a state match of 25% of the total levy based on a formula. The state has always underfunded their part of this agreement, but nonetheless, Hudson stood to receive approximately $13,000 in state aid for the instruction support program. All state aid for the instructional support program has been eliminated from the budget. This will have a negative impact on our spending authority.
Those are the main points. I will be back to you soon, we just need to wait to see if the Governor signs the bill in total or strikes parts with the line item veto.