The St. Clair R-XIII School Board approved a $24 million operating budget for the 2018-19 school year.

Superintendent Dr. Kyle Kruse said the budget is almost balanced as revenues and expenditures both equal about $24 million.

Kruse said the budget projects a deficit spending in the operations budget of about $40,000 and about $40,000 in the capital project fund.

The deficits are due to a one-time expenditures such as the faculty longevity stipend and expenditures for major capital projects.

The capital projects include the new press box, new bleachers and the new entrance sign.

The budget also includes salary increases. The base teacher salary has been increased to $33,500, according to Kruse. Faculty and staff in the district will see about a 2 1/2 percent raise.

Additionally, the district’s contribution to health insurance premiums has increased.

To accommodate class sizes in at the elementary school and at Edgar Murray, a teaching position has been added for each building.

Background

From 2010-2016, the district had some financial issues, according to Kruse. Some issues included a decrease in enrollment, a decrease in assessed valuation, an underfunded state formula and an operating tax levy of $2.75 — the maximum tax rate for Missouri schools.

He added that these circumstances required “difficult decisions” to be made in order to operate in a fiscally responsible manner. Those decisions included budget cuts, eliminated positions and a salary pay freeze.

In the annual secretary of the board reports from 2009-2012, there is a gradual increase in the district fund balances and a decrease from 2013-2016, according to Kruse.

Over past two years, there have been improvements in enrollment, the state education funding formula was fully funded for the 2017-18 year.

Additionally, the approval of the Prop Kids tax levy in 2016 has helped school funding.

After two years of increased enrollment, the 2017-18 year had a decrease of 41 students. About 20 more students should be enrolled for the 2018-19 school year.

ASBR Report

Kruse said toward the end of the 2016-17 year, the school district gained $483,024.50 in the classified salaries/operating fund, and the certified teachers and administrator fund.

The districts capital funds increased $606,798.55 as well. He said those increases are thanks to the Prop Kids.

The fund balance grew from 16.4 percent to 18.73 percent over the course of the 2016-17 school year.

The district budgeted to receive about 93 percent of property taxes this year due to taxes being paid late, according to Kruse. He added that the district received just over 100 percent of the current taxes projected.

In delinquent taxes or ones that are paid late, Kruse said the district received an extra $151,000 above what was budgeted.

The district receives a portion of statewide sales tax based on the number of students from the year prior. About 92 percent of sales tax receipts have been collected so far.

The district should receive more than what was originally expected, according to Kruse.

In state assessed railroads, utilities, pipelines and fines collected at the county level, Kruse said the district received almost 110 percent of what was projected, which amounts to $70,000.

In state funding, the district received 94.3 percent of what was budgeted.

The classroom trust fund which is a component in the state fund formula comes from lottery and gambling. The district received more than what was budgeted.

In capital projects, Kruse said the district’s Bardot Street project portion was supposed to be $125,000 and it ended up costing $200,000.

To help with added costs, the district transferred $770,000 from classified salaries and operating fund to the capital projects fund.