Saturday, October 10, 2009

Money ...

Not the sexiest topics, but I wanted to check in with some of you big-picture charter folks to see how common some of our budget woes are around the country:
  • School funding hold-backs: In July the state legislature passed a budget that changed the funding formula: Previously, the state held back 10% of our per-pupil funding - now, they hold back 27%. That means that this October we will receive funds amounting to 10% of the 2008-2009 per-pupil funding from the 2008-2009 school year, but we won't receive this year's held-back funding until October 2010.

    Typically a school would borrow money to fill in that gap, but since we are in Statutory Operating Debt, we are legally required to be paying off debt, not incurring new debt.

  • Property taxes: I recently found out we have a "triple-net lease," which means we pay all maintenance fees as well as property taxes, which come to around $50K each year.

    To help with this, we are going to try to appeal to the county tax commissioner -- some MN schools have had success doing this since as schools they are not supposed to have to pay property taxes. But they have had to keep at it for years before making any headway.

  • Stimulus Funds: Our school applied for - and got - federal stimulus funds this year. However, it turned out to be a wash since the state just subtracted the stimulus amount from our state funding.
On a related note, we informed teachers on Friday that the board had directed the school leaders to cut $60,000 from salary/benefits. Needless to say it was not a good start to the weekend.

1 comment:

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