Happy December! This month's Superintendent Message focuses on enrollment and budgeting information. The reason this topic is important now is because of the start of the 2018 Legislative Session on January 8. Now is the time for us to be pulling together and speaking with our legislators about how important it is to FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION.
The Chariton Community School District has experienced a dramatic decrease in enrollment. School districts across the state of Iowa are required to certify their enrollment on October 1 of each year. On October 1, 2017 the district certified 1240.49 students. On October 1, 2016 the district’s certified enrollment was 1281.63, which is a decrease of (41.14) students. A school district’s budget is based on the number of students it serves and the amount of per pupil dollars set by the legislature every year.
Every year the Iowa legislature sets the per pupil amount that school districts receive for the education of their students. The 2017-2018 per pupil amount has been set at $6,664. Our budget is determined by multiplying our certified enrollment times the per pupil amount. More students equal more money, less students equal less money.
Every year the Iowa legislature sets the Supplemental State Aid (SSA) for the next year. The SSA is the percentage of increase in the per pupil amount. At this time, the legislature has not set the SSA for the 2018-2019 school year, but are required to set a rate within the first 30 days of the session. They will be debating school funding when they begin their session in January 2018. The following chart outlines some of the possibilities for SSA and the effect on the Chariton School District budget:
|SSA % Potential||Current PP $||SSA Amount||New PP $||Impact for Chariton|
Due to legal timelines, the school district must move forward with the budgeting process for the 2018-2019 school year, so at this time we are working under the assumption of 0% Supplemental State Aid. We are having conversations regarding potential reductions in our expenditures. We have offered early retirement to all staff, as a cost savings measure, and will consider all areas for savings. If you have suggestions for budget reductions, please email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please consider contacting your state legislative representatives to let them know that it is important to fully support public education funding in the state of Iowa. Adequately funding our public school districts is imperative to the economic vitality of our community and our state.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Paula J. Wright
Chariton Community School District