State aid reductions cause budget modifications, fee increases
Education is the foundation of our community and why many people move to the Andover area. Our school district offers an incredibly valuable education and we deliver excellent results in a very cost effective way. However, that excellence takes resources and in order for us to give students in Andover the education our community expects, we need those resources.
On May 11, 2015, the Andover Board of Education approved the 2015-16 budget modifications and increase in enrollment fees.
Below are several key points to help clarify the impact of the new state funding formula or Block Grant and its effect on Andover.
State funding to operate our schools is going down.
Due to the passing of the Block Grant in March, many school districts, including Andover, will have a reduction in state aid funds. Over the two-year life of the Block Grant, Andover will lose almost $1,000,000 in state funding to operate our schools. During that time, it is likely costs will continue to rise and so will enrollment. With the Block Grant in place, we will not receive additional funding for any new students.
We are operating at extremely efficient levels.
Andover was ranked the third most efficient school district in per pupil spending at the end of the 2013-14 school year by the Kansas Department of Education. This year, we are operating on $443 LESS per pupil than we were in 2009. If we were receiving the same amount per pupil this year as we did in 2009, we would have an additional $2.5 million in our budget.
We have already done many things to reduce our budget.
Since 2009 we have made almost $5,000,000 in budget modifications.
We are an excellent return on investment.
Andover is consistently ranked at the top of Kansas school districts in student performance in the classroom, on the performing stage and on the playing field. We deliver this excellence at a low cost per pupil. Our patrons expect us to maintain high levels of excellence and that excellence costs money. During the budget process, we heard many times that people move to Andover for the schools, have high expectations for us and are willing to support the excellence that they expect to have for their children. They would rather pay a bit more in fees than see programs cut and services reduced.
The approved budget modifications takes a balanced approach combining cost savings & revenue enhancements.
The district will make budget modifications of $650,200 and fee increases generating approximately $314,500.
We have been successful in protecting student programs and services.
As it stands now, the only student program being reduced is summer school and we believe all staffing changes can be handled through attrition.
This may not be the last reduction.
Because state revenue is projected to be far under state spending, Kansas is short on cash and there is a chance we could see additional budget reductions in the future. We have to plan accordingly. According to state revenue projections reported by the Wichita Eagle, the state will have a $143 million deficit even if every piece of the governor’s $211 million proposed tax plan passes. The state would be on pace to face a $91 million shortfall the following year as well.