Sulphur Springs Independent School District Board of Trustees approved balanced SSISD 2020-21 general fund, debt and food service budgets during the regular board meeting held earlier this week. The tax rate will be presented for board approval during a special called board meeting and public hearing later this month.
The 2019-20 and 2020-21 budgets are very similar. However, SSISD anticipates receiving $1.2 million less in revenues in fiscal year 2020-21 than the $42,789,274 that was projected in the 2019-2020 budget.
The general fund budget will be tight. SSISD is projected to use all except for $1,675 of the $41,585,313 in revenue the district projects receiving for the general fund during the 2020-21 fiscal year. That’s $1.2 million less in revenue than the original 2019-20 budget, when only $776 was expected to be left once expenses were deducted from the 2019-20 $42,789,274 general fund revenue.
The general fund is comprised of four different functions: general operating, needy children, transportation and co-curricular.
SSISD is projected to receive $41,435,541 in revenues for the general operating fund; expenditures are only projected to be $39,232,871, however, leaving $2,308,138 in the general operating fund which includes day-to-day expenses, including salaries. That’s down slightly from the 2019-20 budget, when revenues and expenses were both projected to be a little higher; SSISD budgeted to spend $39,322,671 of the projected $41,786,763 in general operating revenues in 2019-20.
The district maintains $13 million in the general operating budget at the end of the budget year carried over from previous years. These funds are typically designated so the district has funds to continue operating in case state or federal disbursements are delayed, and can be used to offset deficit funds or other unanticipated shortfalls, disaster or needs during the school year.
Expenses for the children fund are budgeted only at the amount the district anticipates receiving. In the 2019-20 budget, that was $14,783. This year, the NCF is budgeted at $9,772.
The district does not collect revenue for transportation. SSISD expected to spend $1.8 million in the 2019-20 budget. This year, transportation is expected to cost $1.58 million.
Co-curricular activities, which include all extra curricular activities is expected to bring in $140,000, but will cost $862,036 in 2020-21. That’s $16,600 less in projected revenue and $27,655 less expenditures this year than were budgeted for 2019-20.
Previously, the general fund budget also included listing for an Instructional Materials Allotment (formerly textbook) fund.
“Really, there’s no need for them to be included here. It comes from the state. It’s designated funds. Our auditor said we didn’t need to do that. Last year it was $831,000. So, if you were to look back at last year’s budget, you’d see that’s gone. The same thing,” SSISD Business Manager Sherry McGraw told school trustees when presenting the general fund, food and debt service budgets for board approval.
Special Funds Dedicated to Special Purposes, Federal Funding
The overall district budget includes six additional special funds dedicated for special purposes. The food and debt service budgets which were approved by SSISD trustees during their regular meeting Aug. 10.
SSISD started the 2019-20 school year with $647,677 remaining in the food service fund. The 2019-20 budget approved in August 2019 projected $2,275,500 in revenues, just $13,655 more than expenses. SSISD anticipates ending the 2019-20 budget year on Aug. 31 with $600,00 remaining in the food service budget to carry over to the 2020-21 school year. During FY 2020-21, SSISD anticipates receiving only $2,210,100 in revenues, and spending $3,219,331 for food services, which would leave $935,398 in the food service budget at the end of FY 2020-21.
Debt service is expected to generate $4.15 million in revenue, with payments totaling $3.2 million. That’s down from the $4.49 million in revenue and $4.2 million in expenses projected in the 2019-20 budget.
Other special purpose budgets of the district include capital projects, workers compensation, tech self-insurance and scholarship funds.
The capital projects fund is projected at $45,160, which is about half as much as the $88,667 SSISD budgeted for capital projects in 2019-20.
SSISD anticipates $107,500 in revenue and has budgeted for $184,337 in expenses in the workers comp fund for 2020-21. The district expects to have $190,000 left in the fund, built up from previous years. That’d still leave $113,183 in that fund at the end of 2020-21.
The technology self-insurance fund is expected to be $13,198 for 2020-21, up from $10,000 least year. Last year, the district anticipated spending $18,000. This year, the fund is expected to balance even.
In 2019-20, SSISD allocated $6,932 for scholarships. For 2020-21, SSISD had allocated $14,278 for the scholarship fund.
Overall, that adds another $6,544,965 in revenue designated for special purposes, and $5,651,740 in expenses. When the general fund and special purposes funds are combined, that’s $48.1 million overall in projected revenue and $47.2 million in budgeted expenditures.
The district also anticipates receiving an additional $3.2 million in federal funding during 2020-21, down from nearly $3.7 million in the 2019-20 budget adopted in August of 2019. All of these funds go toward payroll for federal programs, such as Head Start, Title I, Title IV, preschool and visually impaired programs, according to McGraw.
That put the overall budgeted funds for SSISD for 2020-21 at $51.3 million, and expenditures at $50.4 million. The three types of budgeted funds combined for a projected $53.46 million in revenues and $52.2 in expenditures in the budget approved in August 2019 for FY 2019-20.
“She makes it look easy,” Superintendent Michael Lamb said of McGraw. “After House Bill 3 last year and COVID-19 all spring, Sherry has done an amazing job to get to this point.”
“It take a lot of work that goes into it, and we appreciate it,” SSISD Board of Trustees President Robert Cody said.
The general fund, debt service and food service budgets were unanimously approved as presented on a motion by trustee Leesa Toliver that was seconded by trustee Robbin Vaughn.