Revenue. Revenue assumptions, including general fund and grant funds, incorporate the most current revenue and economic information provided by the Colorado Department of Education ("CDE"). The total program projections for the general fund include assumptions for pupil count, at-risk pupil count, and per pupil funding (including inflation and the negative factor). CDE posts revenue projections on their website. Initial projections are based on the Governor's November Budget Request. Additional information on School Finance Funding can be found here, School Finance in Colorado Booklet (January 2014), and here, Understanding Colorado School Finance Brochure.
Expenditures. Salaries and benefits represent the largest expenditure for the District. Salaries are budgeted in accordance with the salary schedules, including work days, adopted by the Board. Benefits include the employer paid portion of Medicare and PERA and the employer paid portion of insurance premiums for medical, life, and vision insurance. The school building supplies budget is based on a per-pupil supply amount. Other significant expenditures include purchased services, energy, fuel, and property insurance. The District budgets expenditures for debt service (principal and interest) and capital purchases, including equipment and vehicles. The District budgets a contingency line item for unanticipated expenditures for special education and other risk areas.
Fund Balance. The District must maintain a three percent emergency reserve (TABOR). The Board maintains, at a minimum, a 17% reserve in the general fund in addition to TABOR. Finally, $300,000 per year is assigned for estimated boiler and HVAC replacements at the middle and high school.
Five-year Plan. All budget projections occur in conjunction with the development and approval of the District's five-year plan.
Process. The budget kickoff begins in January to allow the community and stakeholders ample time to provide input and feedback for the proposed budget. Public meetings are held from January to June with multiple groups, including the Board, District Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC), Meet 'n Confer, building administrators, building leadership teams, and building accountability committees. All interested parties are encouraged to attend these meetings and may call the District Office or refer to the District calendar for schedules.
Zero Based Budget process: define needs and goals, research best practices, gather community feedback, identify resources, prioritize investments, review scenarios, and present final recommendations to the Board for adoption.