Following a public hearing at the Aug. 13 school board meeting, the board of directors adopted resolution 841, the budget for the 2019-20 school year. The budget reflects several actions to address a $14.5 million shortfall following the transition to the state’s new funding model for K-12 education.
- Uses $10.3 million in one-time funding–$6.5 million of one-time state levy equalization money and $3.8 million of one-time money from the district’s fund balance. This approach allows VPS to preserve all of the school-based, direct service positions originally identified as possible reductions to consider, but only for the 2019-20 school year.
- Removes 10 centrally budgeted teachers on special assignment for a $1.2 million cost savings
- Reduces central office/support services budgets by 5 percent for a $1.2 million savings
- Reduces central administration positions by 15 percent for an $800,000 savings
- Reduces professional development travel by 50 percent for a $400,000 savings
- Eliminates one grounds maintenance position for a $75,000 savings
In June, the board of directors discussed a possible supplemental levy measure, recommended by the district’s Management Task Force, as a sustainable revenue source. That option, which would require voter approval, will be explored further in the coming months. Without a sustainable revenue source, the district will face a $10.3 million budget shortfall in the next budget year.
The approved 2019-20 budget
- General fund, $340.2 million
- Capital projects fund, $153.1 million (restricted to bond construction)
- Debt services fund, $31.6 million
- Associated Student Body fund, $2.6 million
- Transportation vehicle fund, $1.3 million
- General fund, $344.5 million
- Capital projects fund, $271.1 million (restricted to bond construction)
- Debt services fund, $39.1 million
- Associated Student Body fund, $2.5 million
- Transportation vehicle fund, $3.8 million
The budget reflects:
- Capital construction dollars, thanks to the February 2017 voter-approved bond measure, are being used to replace several schools, build new schools and improve all other schools.
- VPS received $6.5 million in one-time funding thanks to the district’s legislative advocacy and the support of Senator Annette Cleveland.
- Nearly half of revenues and expenditures are restricted to designated funds
- Special education: The state underfunds special education in VPS by $6.3 million
“This year, we were able to manage a $14.5 million shortfall through cuts in central office support to schools and with the use of one-time funding,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “Without additional sustainable revenue, the district will be forced to cut programs and positions to balance our budget next year. I urge you to contact our legislators and ask them to provide full funding for special education and other essential services so we can continue to provide the education and programs our families and students expect and deserve.”