Similar to school districts across our region, we are facing a significant budget shortfall in the coming years due to declining enrollment, rising costs and the end of ESSER funds.
School districts are funded by the state on a per-student basis. As our enrollment continues to decline, we will face a larger budget gap each year for the next few years.
Although we are grateful to our state legislators for some funding increases, the additional funding passed this session is far less than our expected expenditures.
While we will receive an additional $4 million in additional special education funding, our costs are anticipated to exceed funding by $16 million.
We will also receive an additional $250,000 for transporting students experiencing homelessness. But our costs are anticipated to exceed funding by $4 million.
Central office leaders have reduced their budgets by:
- Prioritizing items that support our strategic goals
- Reducing lower-priority functions
- Gaining efficiencies where possible
With the loss of ESSER funds, a number of ESSER-funded positions will be eliminated at the end of this school year, such as those related to COVID health services.
We will stretch our remaining ESSER dollars to soften the blow of budget cuts for next year. However, we will need to make reductions starting with the following year and additional cuts through at least 2026-27.
The new strategic plan gives us a map for budgeting and prioritizing expenditures.