The Meramec Valley R-III School Board approved a $39 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019, at its June meeting.

The budget is considered preliminary because it was presented for approval prior to the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 2018, and prior to the receipt of the official assessed valuation information from the counties, according to Dr. Jeff Haug, chief financial officer.

The superintendent scheduled a budget workshop in February that allowed members of the board of education and administration to review the plan prior to the June presentation of the budget.

The district expects to receive $32,814,106 in incidental and special revenue for the year.

The district plans to spend $32,837,946 in incidental and special revenue and capital projects, which leaves a slight deficit of $23,839.

The largest portion of the expenditures will go to salaries and benefits, which slightly exceeds $25 million, with the remaining expenditures going toward purchased services and supplies.

“The deficit represents less than 1 percent of expenditures,” Haug said.

“It’s important to note that revenue is projected conservatively and expenditures are budgeted higher,” he said. “It’s also important to note that we have five teaching positions budgeted, but not filled.”

Adding the debt service restricted revenue, food service fund and student activity fund brings total revenue to $38,710,932.

The debt service levy is the second portion of the levy that generates tax revenue for the district, Haug noted.

Debt service funds are restricted for the sole purpose of paying for the debt of voter approved bond issues generally for large capital projects. The debt service levy was increased 19 cents, to a total of 88 cents, when the levy was set by the board of education in September 2016.

As of June 1, 2018, the district has issued and has outstanding general obligation bonds that total $35,575,000.

Total expenditures for the upcoming year will exceed tax revenue by $11 million, due to the availability of bond issue funds.

Total expenditures for the next school year will be $47 million, which includes $11,375,000 from Prop K, which voters approved in April 2017.

“The district was able to sell $8,000,000 worth of bonds in June of 2017 and another $3,750,000 in January of 2018,” Haug said.

The bond funds will be used to construct the new preschool and other improvements, he said.

Four revenue sources account for the district’s operating revenue: local, 53 percent; state, 35 percent; county, 4 percent; and federal, 8 percent.

Seventy-two percent of the local revenue budget is based on real estate and personal property tax collections.

Revenue from Franklin County accounts for 90 percent of the district’s assessed valuation totals.

For the 2018 non-reassessment year, Franklin County assessed value estimated the amount of $307,603,791 in May 2018 is nearing the record high of $308,932,095 in 2010.

Total assessed valuation from all three counties has increased again for next year and is at an estimated $336,303,740.

Over 90 percent of the district’s state revenue budget is based on the State Education Foundation Formula. The state of Missouri’s education budget includes full funding of the foundation formula for 2018-19.

“The major threat to the district, regardless of any legislative changes, is the possible decline in student enrollment,” Haug said. “A decline in student enrollment results in lower weighted average daily attendance, the primary factor in calculating state funding.

“The budget is a working document that increases and decreases budget line items occur throughout the year,” he added. “If substantial changes to the budget are required during the course of the year, amendments will be submitted to the board of education for approval.