While school funding drama plays out in Topeka, Shawnee Mission preliminary budget shows dip into fund balance

SM-Admin-buildingThe Shawnee Mission School Board took a look at a projected budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year this week with the fate of school funding still being played out in Topeka.

The projected budget for the supported funds, which are the general operating funds of the school district, show revenues of more than $214.6 million and expenditures of $216.5 million, dipping into the district’s fund balance by $1.9 million.

The district is expected to start with about a $14 million fund balance which represents 11 percent of the operating funds. Superintendent Jim Hinson told the board that fund balances across the state vary widely among school districts but that events such as delayed state payments make fund balances essential.

The total revenue in the preliminary budget drops by $1.8 million for the next year.

The budget assumptions include no salary increase, but allowances for professional growth in the salary categories and a reduction of more than 29 full-time equivalents in employment, most among the classified staff. More than 84 percent of the operating budget goes to salaries and benefits.

The budget also projects an increase in student population to an enrollment of 27,702.

The budget contains a number of other fund categories, including federal funds and capital and debt retirement funds. The operating funds are not used for construction and capital projects. The budget will be finalized later this summer after the state funding picture is clear.