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Board of Education considers budget options, possible ballot measures

Among the options: Salary increases, more student-based dollars to our schools and adding general fund revenues to support athletics and activities
 
CASTLE ROCK – The Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education (BOE) has several options to ponder as it considers next year’s budget.

During a work session in early April, DCSD Chief Financial Officer, Bonnie Betz, presented a brief budget update to the Board outlining the additional resources, approximately $14.1 Million, the District expects to have available for the upcoming school year. She presented four possible budgets illustrating the many options available to the BOE Directors to prioritize for next year. Each option includes the expected, non-discretionary expenditures like PERA retirement contribution increases.

As Betz explained, the District is projecting an increase of $7.4 million from the state for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which includes both the $5.8 million proposed in the School Finance Act (SFA) and $1.6 million in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 Supplemental approved already this Spring. The FY 2016-2017 SFA is currently before lawmakers at the state capitol.  In addition, FY 2014-15 carry-over of $3.5 million had been assigned for pay increases in 2016-17 and we have realized some current year savings to make up the full $14.1 million.

The options include:
·      A possible increase of $50 per student to School Based Budgets (SBB) requiring an additional budget allocation of $2.6 million
·      A salary increase for employees requiring $3 million allocation for each 1 percent increase approved
·      An increase to athletic fees or a transfer from the general fund to cover athletic-related needs requiring an additional budget allocation of $1 million
·      A proposal to drop the transportation fee currently paid by students who ride the bus that would require $1.5 million  in an additional budget allocation to transportation
·      Proposed changes to the elementary school administrator formula, which would lower the number of students required before a school can get an assistant principal allocation with a cost of about $500,000

In the end, the Board must decide on a budget package that results in an incremental increase over FY 2015-2016 of about $14.1 Million.
 
The budget presentation was part of a larger discussion regarding future funding for the District, which included presentations from the District Accountability Committee (DAC) and Fiscal Oversight Committee (FOC).

The FOC brought forward a recommendation to the BOE regarding the best way to fund the most urgent needs of the District as well as how best to fund the next five years of new construction associated with student growth.  Their recommendation included pursuing a bond and/or mill levy override to meet these priorities. Specifically the recommendation called for the District to pursue an $83 Million bond and $23 Million mill levy override to cover all new construction needs over the next five years, 100 percent of the "Tier 1, high priority reinvestment projects" as defined by the Master Capital Plan (MCP) and 50 percent of all other reinvestment projects, also outlined in MCP.

The Board directed staff to move forward exploring a possible bond and mill levy. BOE Directors Judi Reynolds and Anne-Marie Lemieux will act as liaisons.

 
Watch the entire Board of Education work session livestream
View the DCSD Master Capital Plan

April 7, 2016 | By rmbarber | Category: Board of Education, District Accountability Committee, Financial Services, Fiscal Oversight Committee, Long Range Planning Committee

District News

Colorful dark sky with a near-full eclipse of the sun.

Planning is already underway to ensure that students can experience this unique event. We are asking our staff to take precautionary measures if they plan to involve their students in this amazing experience, to ensure the safety of all involved. Students will be instructed not to look at the partially or even near-fully eclipsed sun with the naked eye.  Additionally, homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses—even very dark ones—are not safe for looking at the sun.

 

student speaking at podium, teacher looking at her proudly.

The Boettcher Foundation recently honored 42 Colorado teachers for the significant impact they have had on some of Colorado’s top students – with five of the teachers coming from the Douglas County School District. Every year, the Boettcher Foundation allows each scholarship recipient to acknowledge the teacher who has had the greatest impact on the student’s life. During a special ceremony at the Denver Botanic Gardens, each Boettcher Scholar shared moving stories and thoughtful remarks about his or her teacher.

Large group of middle school students walking on an outdoor field.

All Douglas County School District (DCSD) Middle Schools are gaining an additional full-time counselor this year thanks to a recent grant awarded by the State of Colorado totaling nearly $900,000. Each counselor will have a specific focus on school culture and prevention related to mental health and substance abuse. Additionally, the grant includes funds awarded to each middle school for evidence-based prevention programs and activities.