The Pattonville Board of Education on June 13 reviewed a proposed $94.5 million balanced operating budget for the 2017-2018 school year. A vote is expected on the budget during the June 27 meeting. This is the fourth year in a row the district has achieved a balanced budget. Pattonville is able to continue to maintain a balanced budget as a result of voter approval of Proposition P in November 2013. Prop P provides additional revenue and prevented the need to cut $10 million from the district budget after already cutting $8 million between 2007 and 2013.
The 2017-2018 budget was established based on several factors:
- No change in health costs - The rising cost of health insurance continues to be a major concern nationally, but due to proactive measures in prior years, the district had zero percent increases in health and dental insurance during the last three school years. The district anticipates health insurance rates to remain flat for the 2017-2018 school year.
- Three-year agreement with staff - Pattonville is completing year two of a three-year agreement in which teachers and support staff receive an overall 3.75 percent increase in salary and benefits each year; however, the actual cost to the district is lower due to staff retirements and resignations, many of them due to a separation incentive plan (SIP) offered in 2016. As a result of the SIP and no increases in health insurance costs, the cost of salary and benefits is only increasing 2.98 percent (or a 2.8 percent average over the length of the three-year agreement).
- Four percent change in property values - Pattonville's revenues are based on the assessed value of property in the district, which grew by an estimated 4 percent. However, the district revenues can only increase percentage-wise by the percent increase in value of the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage. The district's 2017-2018 budget is based on the CPI percentage, which is 2.1 percent. However, because the actual property values may vary, the district is budgeting conservatively, as if the CPI percentage were at 1.7 percent.
- Normal textbook purchasing - For the fourth year in a row, the district is budgeting $1 million for its normal textbook adoption cycle.
- Capital spending on high-priority needs - The new budget includes the purchase of four new school buses, a new maintenance vehicle, laptop replacements for the district's elementary schools, lease payments for student and teacher laptops, energy improvements at Holman Middle School and Willow Brook Elementary School, instrument replacements, district-wide playground equipment and new gym flooring at Holman and Pattonville Heights Middle School.
- Full funding in state formula, but not transportation - The district anticipates receiving its full funding under the state's Foundation Formula, which makes up approximately 5 percent of the district's budget. However, as in years past, Pattonville expects to be underfunded by the state for transportation costs by nearly $1 million and has budgeted accordingly.
- Addressing commercial tax appeals - Tax appeals by commercial property owners continue to be a budget focus for the district. Over the past year, nearly $3 million was refunded to commercial taxpayers for appeals dating back to the 2007 tax year, which are in line with annual averages the district has refunded over the last decade.
Approximately 86 percent of Pattonville's funding comes from local taxes, with a small amount of support from state and federal resources.
For more information:
For more information on Pattonville's budget, view the presentation to the Board of Education and supporting budget book on the district's BoardDocs website. Look for the materials under the June 13 meeting agendas.