Increase in revenue means more money into classrooms, higher raise for employees
DOUGLAS COUNTY – More money will soon be headed to neighborhood schools in Douglas County, thanks to the improving economic picture and sound fiscal management. Employees will also receive increases in pay, based on last year's evaluations.
On Tuesday, September 3, at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Liz Fagen announced plans to pass on $4.5 million in increased available resources to our classrooms in the form of average salary increases totaling $3 million and $1.5 million back to our neighborhood schools in the form of Student Based Budgeting (SBB).
“True to the way that we have budgeted over the past three years, we spend within our means so that we do not ever have to cut our budgets to get back within our reoccurring revenues. Then, when we realize additional one-time or ongoing monies, we immediately put those back into the classroom or with our employees,” Fagen said.
According to The Denver Post, Douglas County's tremendous growth is reflected in its finances. For example, the Post states that the building use tax numbers increased from $1,111,733 in 2010 to $2,682,084 in 2012 in Parker; and $1,579,283 in 2008 to $4,657,022 in 2012 in Castle Rock. This housing increase results in more families and more tax dollars flowing into the County.
Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Betz says that increased revenue over projection and a decrease in Special Education Maintenance of Effort need has resulted in additional one-time and ongoing resources to the District. As her staff prepared to close DCSD’s 2012-13 fiscal year, they analyzed the financial statements for our $500 million organization, including the difference between the revenue projections made in March 2013 to the actual revenues received, as well as verifying that the Federal Maintenance of Effort contingency of $2 M would not be needed. Once all these analyses were confirmed, the additional resource availability was immediately shared with District leadership.
In less than a week, Superintendent Fagen drafted a plan to send the money to the classroom and it was unanimously approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday night, which included an average one percent ongoing raise, differentiated for performance, for all DCSD licensed, classified and professional/technical staff, and administrators who were eligible to receive the Board-approved pay increases in May 2013. This is an additional average ongoing pay increase of one percent to the plan that was approved in May 2013.
“This is once again a reflection of our vision, our philosophy and our commitment to use every dollar in the classroom, to reduce administrative costs, to use every conceivable dime that we can; to get it to the professionals,” Board of Education Director Craig Richardson said, before approving the resolution. “This underscores this Board and this Superintendent’s commitment to push every dollar that we have to the classroom. That’s both in the form of Student Based Budgeting and compensation to the human being outside of the home that I believe is the single greatest determinant of the academic success and life prospects of students, and that is that professional teacher in the classroom.”