BY Paul Groessel
Sun POST Newspapers
The Osseo Area Schools Board recently approved the budget for the 2014-15 school year, which shows the expected revenues to exceed expenditures by $5 million for the year in the district’s General-Transportation Fund, the largest among the district’s five funds.
“Our budget decisions are made using our long-range financial planning framework,” Assistant Supt. Kim Riesgraf said during a June 17 school board meeting. “This framework includes a financial forecasting model that provides the basis for our budget planning for financial sustainability.”
The anticipated general fund for 2014-2015 has $218.85 million in revenue and $215.83 in expenditures, according to the budget presentation made at the June 17 school board meeting. That anticipated $5 million surplus over the fiscal year will be added to the $37 million balance expected at the end of this fiscal year. If the projected budget holds true, this will add up to a $42 million general fund balance at the end of the 2014-15 school year, according to the June 17 school board presentation.
Comparison to the 2013-14 school year
Compared to the 2013-14 general fund budget, the anticipated 2014-15 school year general fund had a net increase of $10 million.
Overall, the general fund’s revenue is expected to increase $16.9 million, due to a $11 million general education funding increase from the Minnesota State Legislature and an $8.5 million increase from location equity, a state per-pupil fund that expanded statewide with the Legislature’s approval.
“Location equity of $424 per pupil unit is new for (fiscal year) 2015 and was used to reduce the operating referendum levy by the same amount of $8.6 million,” said Kelly Benusa, the district’s director of business services.
When comparing expenditures to the previous year, there is an anticipated $6 million increase. That includes a $2.7 million operational expenses increase and $3.3 million increase for inflation (3.25 percent). The overall budget increase includes a $2.1 million increase in salaries.
The budget was unanimously approved, and School Board Chair Teresa Lunt said that the board has received updates and provided input regarding the budget during workshops throughout the year.
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