Latest News – June 29
School District Budget Summary & Highlights
Last Tuesday, June 23, the Lake County Board of Education passed the school district budget for the upcoming year, 2015-16. The Lake County School District’s general fund budget for the year is $11,884,715.
Of this, approximately $6.4 million is allocated directly to schools and to central administration; approximately $435,000 is allocated to other funds such as capital projects; approximately $3.1 million is allocated to support services such as maintenance, transportation, technology and resources for the district’s turnaround efforts such as professional development and purchasing current curriculum materials; and approximately $1.8 million is held in required TABOR and operating reserves.
For 2015-16, the state legislature provided the district with an increase in revenue of approximately 3.5%, but a significant portion of this funding is one-time. The district supplements state funding thanks to a mill levy override that voters supported and a significant number of supplemental grants from foundations, the Colorado Department of Education and other sources. For 2015-16, the district anticipates receiving nearly $1.2 million in added funding from designated-purpose grants.
“We have a huge sense of urgency around improving student outcomes, school climate and our infrastructure,” said LCSD finance officer Kate Bartlett. “We simply could not be pursuing such significant change without the generous support of Lake County voters and a great deal of hard work and good fortune with regard to securing supplemental grants. Our base funding is simply not sufficient to provide what our students need and deserve right now. We are incredibly grateful for the needed support, which is fueling our improvement momentum.”
The district’s budget is aligned with its goals to improve student achievement; create positive culture and climate; and provide the infrastructure supports students and teachers need to be successful.
In last year’s community budget survey, the community identified teacher retention as a priority for the district to pay particular attention to. This year, the district’s human resources staff worked closely with local researcher Erin Allaman, PhD, to do a comprehensive study on the drivers of teacher retention in Lake County. The study revealed three top factors related to teacher retention (in order of priority): (1) working conditions; (2) scheduling; and (3) salary. The district is tackling these issues head on. For example, after hearing that teachers felt disempowered in the creation of their daily schedules, each school formed a teacher-driven scheduling task force this spring to provide direction and input for 2015-16 schedule development.
In collaboration with the Lake County Education Association (LCEA), the district is also taking a close look at staff salaries in comparison to neighboring and competing districts. This year, LCEA and the district together agreed to a plan that permanently increases teacher salaries slightly, but also provides for a meaningful retention bonus.
Teachers are also eligible for salary increases through attendance at district-provided and other professional development; since this practice began in June 2013, district teachers have earned 71 total professional development lane advancements, totaling $40,470 in salary increases. Non-teacher staff members across the district will receive a 3.5% salary increase for 2015-16 and a very small retention bonus. Every employee in the district, for the second year in a row, will receive a raise.
The district’s entire 2015-16 budget can be viewed in the financial transparency section of its website (under Administration). If you would like to discuss or ask questions about any part of the budget, please feel free to contact Kate Bartlett at 719-486-6835 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Lake County School District Fund Budgets 2015-16|
|Colorado Preschool Fund||$291,302|
|Capital Projects Fund||$1,950,775|
|Governmental Designated-Purpose Grants Fund||$1,183,283|
|Center Preschool Fund||$226,682|
|Head Start Preschool Fund||$542,276|
|Food Service Fund||$661,717|
|Debt Service Fund – Lake County High School||$1,801,534|
|Pupil Activity Fund||$250,000|