Board Member Questions - Budget, Planning & Accounting


Board Member Questions - Budget, Planning & Accounting
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
Payment for
serving on
Do we still have a contract with VARC? If yes, what is
the cost, where is it in the budget, what products or
services did receive in 2014-15, what products or
services will we receive in 2015-16?
We did not exercise our contract extension rights for WCER in 2014-2015. As such, our contract
for Value Added services from WCER ended June 30, 2014. Our termination notice indicated a
desire to negotiate a new agreement related to the development of value added models for
attendance and other data systems but we have not created any new agreements.
The only 'committee' that administrators sit on that they are paid for is the Principal Advisory
Group. Each principal is paid $2500. There are 11 principals, so $27,500 in total. For this
stipend, principals take on actual district challenges and work toward solving those challenges
on behalf of the Superintendent. For example, they were instrumental in helping us develop the
BEP budget amendment in your Board packet for Monday.
Can we get a breakdown of all payments to
administrators and NUPs for serving on district
Other than that, we pay Teachers for the following work:
Lead Teacher Team Work for Curriculum Development: Subs-$28,620, Extended employment$66,356
Material Vetting Committee:
Subs-$14,940; Extended employment $5,174
Middle School Math Specialist: Tuition Reimbursement: $125,000
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2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
debt repayment
With the $1 M unused revenue authority, and the
possible restoration of $4.1 in categorical aid, could
you prepare early non-referendum debt repayment
scenarios in the amounts of $1 M, $1.5M, $2 M and $2.5
M and a discussion/projection of the impact of these
on future budgets (or something along these lines,
does not have to be exactly what is described here)?
The $1 million and $4.1 million referred to here create a potential maximum budget margin of
$5.1 million.
We are looking at a possible investment in the BEP which would reduce that margin.
We are also looking at a plan whereby most or all of the margin falls to the fund balance and
could be used to help balance the 2016-17 budget which, based on recent Joint Finance actions,
will see less than 1% revenue growth.
Alternatively, as this question points out, the margin in 2015-16 could be used to pay for other
obligations (most likely non-recurring items) such as existing Fund 38 debt. One concern is the
impact on shared cost and subsequent loss of equalization aid.
We are running these models and will present at the June 8 OWG.
The primary issuance to consider for refinancing would be the WRS related debt issued March,
2012. We may also consider upcoming scoreboard and tennis court debt issues.
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ACA benefits
Changes around
transfer of Tech
Services to
East Theatre
Staffing Table
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2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
How will the ACA eligible benefits be
budgeted/allocated among various funds, lines, and
departments if the employee falls in more than one?
The expense of providing health insurance to employees who will now be eligible for benefits
under ACA will be budgeted proportionally to the employees’ current job assignments.
Are the donations related to the East Theater
anywhere in the budget?
The plan is based on $3.7 MM from the project budget PLUS a $200,000 contribution from the
East Fundraising Group, for a total project of $3.9 MM. The current budget for the project is at
$41 MM and does not include the $200,000.
(31) Staffing table -- elsewhere (in department
budgets, such as FACE, and maybe additional places),
conversions between categories (Administrator to
NUP for example) are noted, but not reflected in the
budgets. Can we get all places where there are
anticipated changes consistent throughout?
All positions that were known at the time of producing the draft preliminary budget, where the
changes are from Administrators to NUPs are explained in the department notes. Because
these changes are for next year and there is not a guaranteed savings in this conversion, the
positions have not necessarily been changed yet in the accounting system that generates the
department staffing and budget summaries. The known 1.0 FTE Administrator to 1.0 FTE NUP
reclassifications (four of them) will occur in the following departments: Budget, Planning &
Accounting; Building Services; Family & Community Engagement; and Human Resources.
Are there any budget changes (departmental or
otherwise) with the proposed transfer of Tech Services
to Building Services?
This could impact Funds 10, 27, 50 and 80. As we presented in May, the eligible members of this
group change rapidly. We estimate a total budget impact of approximately $300,000.
There are no additional costs. This is simply a move of responsibility and supervision.
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
(32) – Can we get a fuller explanation of the shift to
Floater SEAs, costs associated and anticipated savings
from decreased Sub usage? Also page 59, I am
confused by the various categories, such as “Sub
Floater,” and “Sub for SEA-Cont, the terms of these
hires, the pay scales…).
This change is cost neutral. Based upon the frequency that substitute teachers are placed in
sub SEA assignments - an average of 17 per day (at double the cost of an SEA sub - three times
the cost if it is a long-term assignment) these positions were created to increase the quality of
service to students and reduce the demand on the substitute teacher pool. The Floater SEA is
cross- trained to cover the assignments of other SEAs at the school and when there isn’t a sub
required at the home school, is assigned to a feeder school.
These funds are budgeted to cover the cost of a substitute teacher who is working for an SEA
in contractual absences (personal illness, family illness, funeral leave etc.).
OMG changes
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(33-34) – The notes says the .9 OMG decrease includes
school-based and district-based, on page 27 there
noted a decrease in OMG of 5.5, leaving a net increase
of 4.6 FTE. Where are these 4.6 FTE
The teacher staffing table takes a closer look at the teacher subset of the staffing chart on page
31 based on job class (not organization). As explained in the notes for that table, the FY 2015
column represents staffing as of the 2014-15 Adopted Budget, not necessarily the staffing that
currently exists. The OMGE department allocates staff to schools for English Language
Learners, but in some cases, schools will provide additional bilingual staffing for their students,
particularly at the high school level. For example, a school might decide to offer bilingual math
classes using their regular education staffing allocation. These decisions supplement the
allocation provided by OMGE, causing the number of BRT and ESL staff (by job class) to
increase. Therefore, the difference between FY 2015 and FY 2016 is a net amount which
includes not only the decrease of 4.5 FTE in OMGE (-5.5 FTE plus 1.0 FTE DLI Planner), but also
the changes made by schools to better serve the needs of their bilingual students.
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
PST positions
(34) Note 5 – how many PST positions are being cut?
There is a reduction of 3.4 FTE PST positions. You will notice that the 3.4 plus the 12 FTE
referred to in note 5 on page 34 does not equal the 14.5 reduction noted in the table. The
explanation for this is similar to the answer about OMGE changes (above). The changes
(conversions) made in school staffing since the 2014-15 Adopted Budget, including the use of
unallocated to support schools, is responsible for this.
Other Support
(37) – Can we get a breakdown of the “Other support
services” increase (also page 43)?
Other support services increase is primarily due to the decrease in two negative placeholder
budgets, which results in an expenditure increase. 1) Pending negotiations with our health
carriers, we had included a negative $1.3 million for health insurance savings in 2014-15, which
is now eliminated. 2) We have also decreased the salary savings negative amount by $998,000.
Both of these are offset by increases to, among other line items, non-benefit insurances,
administrator retirement, and the wellness program, and a decrease to the tech plan.*
Fund 80
* The tech plan "decrease" is because Fund 42 was just set up, which will account for the
$500,000 that will supplement the Tech Plan next year. However, the Fund 10 portion of the tech
plan is indeed down FY15 to FY16.
Facility Rental in Fund 80
(42) Here and elsewhere can we get revenue and
The following MSCR POs were issued in FY15 for Fund 80 Space Rental:
expenditure estimates for Fund 80 including the newly ·
rented Eastside facility (see page 63, line 365, and page
o 15000005
138 among other places)?
o 15000006
o 15000007
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2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
LETZING ROBERT - Parking Lot Spaces
o Total:
· The new East facility is anticipated to cost $87,400 for space rental costs, to be offset by
efficiencies and added program revenue to justify use of the new space. These costs were not
included in the preliminary budget document, but are slated for inclusion over the summer prior
to final fall approval.
Proceeds from
Title I
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(39 & 43) Can we get an explanation of “Proceeds from
debt” (is this the referendum debt premium, if not
where is that)?
(50) Title I -- Can we get a fuller explanation of how
the Middle School Title I “pilot” was funded and the
impact of the 2014-15 changes on Title I allocations for
This is the expected premium for the $41MM bond issue.
Title I, Part A grant funds are to be utilized to provide supplemental services and supports to
students who are most academically at risk. Although the district has historically provided these
2015-16 (and beyond)?
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
funds to all eligible elementary schools, MMSD was the only large urban district in the state that
did not utilize these funds to support eligible middle school students as well. Therefore, during
the 2014-15 school year, carryover funds resulting from unspent American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act dollars were utilized to increase the Title I allocation going out to the schools
in order to additionally serve the seven eligible middle schools while holding the elementary
school level budgets stable. This was discussed with the Board last budget cycle.
Title I middle schools received $390 per low income student while elementary schools received
on the average $1,040 per low income student. It was communicated to all Title I schools that
over the course of the next three years, Title I elementary schools would see reductions in
budgets in order to increase those in the middle schools. For 2015-16 Title I budgeting, there no
longer were carryover funds to add to the school level allocation. To continue to try and hold
Title I elementary schools as stable as possible, middle school budgets were only increased
minimally. For the 2015-16 school year, Title I middle schools will receive $400 per low income
student while elementary schools will receive on the average $929. In addition to changes in the
school per pupil amounts, there were also large changes in the enrollment of free and reduced
students. While some schools saw increases of up to 58 students, others lost as many as 23.
Since Title I school budgets are calculated by multiplying the per pupil amounts by the number
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2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
of low income students present during January counts, these changes in enrollment can greatly
impact school Title I budgets from year to year.
Fund 27
(50) With Fund 27 we have been told that there is a
decrease in students, but lines 83, 87, 88 show
increased revenues. Can we get an explanation?
There are two important numbers to understand regarding fund 27 (341 grant) IDEA flowthrough
(1) entitlement versus (2) revenue. For the school 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, our
entitlement was $5,392,964 and $5,638,091 respectively. The revenue is the amount we made
claims on and received. The difference between the two is carryover. We have historically
carried over $500,000 or more to accommodate unforeseen legal disputes, out of district
placements and or resources to be used for emergency staffing purposes.
The line 83 increase is based on an expected increase in categorical aid following fiscal year
end costs. Our receipts this year are scheduled to exceed the current year budget, which
means the increase in our budget document for FY16 is part in due to expected receipts in the
current fiscal year, and part in the following year.
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(56 and elsewhere) Will we get updated budgets
reflecting the Health Insurance Settlements?
The 15-16 draft preliminary budget was based on zero change in health insurance rates (renewal
date 7-1-15). All three HMO’s confirmed a zero rate increase, so there is no change in the actual
budget to estimate. That said actual health insurance costs may still increase based on the
number of employees/retirees enrolled next year.
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
(57) Line 50 – are there any decreases in “Personal
Services” (and what are they)? What fund did the
Pathways membership come from in 2014-15?
· The Personal Services Object (0310) increases are addressed in the notes on page 54. The
Pathways costs were carved out of the Asst. Supt Secondary budget for FY15, and were
increased in FY16 to give this area its own budget allocation for FY16.
· There are increases and decreases throughout the 0310 Object budgets. Some decreases
were in response to budgetary cuts at the central office due to state budget constraints, but the
major increases were indicated in the notes.
The detailed report for the Object 0310 lines in the budget is linked here.
(58) Lines 126-30 – Can you explain why leases are
listed under “debt”?
Historically, districts have often accounted for leases as equipment rental. Some our current
leases, though, fall under a 'capitalized lease' designation under generally accepted accounting
principles, which DPI requires us to account for under the 'debt' category. The major lease
listed here was entered into July, 2014 for laptop computers.
(59) Since 2013-14 Organizational Dues have
increased almost $100,000. Can we get a breakdown
of these?
· There is not a scheduled increase in Organizational Dues of 100K. During last fall budget,
Title IIA held $100K in an Organizational Dues object without an associated expenditure.
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The Title IIA Budget for FY16 requires further work in regards to a submitted federal budget
plan, but this money will be moved out of 0941 by this fall. Organizational Dues as a total will
then be closer to the current budget/expenditure level of ~120K.
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
Line Matching
(67) The note for Line 15 (page 69) doesn’t match Line
(67-68) Are there notes missing? The note at the top of
page 68 starts in the middle of a sentence (and is not a
continuation of page 67).
(104) – Is there an associated reduction in purchased
services with the addition of the hearing interpreter?
In related question, how much is budgeted throughout
the entire budget for outside hearing interpreters, how
much did we spend last year, and would it be worth
considering doing more in-house?
Missing Note
This should reference line 16 instead.
Yes, the line was excluded. The top of page 68 should read:
Fund 27
- Line 24 reflects an increase in IDEA/PreK Grant funded positions and expenditures
($464,000), net reduction in temporary teacher hours / subs - partially to establish SEA
floater Positions ($154,000), net increase in permanent staffing levels due to establishing
SEA floater positions to alleviate sub needs ($452,000)
The first item here is in reference to interpreter services for a MMSD staff member. La Follette
High School hired an individual with a hearing impairment, interpreter services are needed to
support them.
With regard to the purchased interpreter services please know there are three big categories
that tend to get lumped together in a medium level budget document: (1) Services for parents
and community access at school functions such as plays, performances, parent-teacher
conferences, IEP meetings, and RSG; (2) Services for staff during staff meetings or professional
development; and (3) Services for students due to staff absences/leaves.
Expenditure of each category this year: (1) $5,316.13; (2) $24,120.84; and (3) $61,539.94. For
much of the year we had two interpreters on long-term leave which required us to more
purchased services than usual. Now that we are back to full strength, we anticipate little to no
need for these services. This past year’s situation was both unexpected and atypical.
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2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
(106) MTSS – there is a decrease of .5 Admins, no
change in other categories and an increase of $146,000
in salaries. Explain please.
There is a position in MTSS (Org 401) that is being split between two departments next year,
which does mean a salary decrease is reflected in this department summary. However, total
salaries have increased due to temp staffing costs associated with SLT initiatives for K-2
Instructional Planning and Grade Level release days ($187,000 combined). Adding this amount
to the FY15 amount and reducing a 0.500 admin results in a net increase in the salaries for this
Teacher Count
(1070 OMGE Teacher count does not appear to match
page 33 (see also note 3 above).
The teacher staffing chart on page 33 was compiled using Job class rather than organization in
order to accurately reflect the nature of the work being done, particularly as it relates to
students. The department summaries pulled in staff based on their department or organization.
Therefore, there are staff in the OMGE department summary who are not on the OMGE line on
page 33 but rather are in the District-Wide/Central Office/Off-Site line because they are not
specifically ESLs or BRTs. Similarly, there are teachers on the OMGE line on page 33 that are
not coded to the OMGE organizations.
PBS Positions
(124) Are the 2.4 FTE PBS new positions or reassigned
(it is clear on the BEA, but not the PBS)? Can we get a
chart of the proposed school-based BEP staffing, and a
comparison to the current?
This document outlines the comparison from last year to this. Student Services administrative
assistants are working to ensure accuracy. The 2.4 FTE PBS positions are a shift of resources
from central office student services to schools.
State Budget
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Can we get an update asap after yesterday’s State
Finance committee announcement? What are
our options?
Overall, while we are grateful for a restoration of major cuts included in the governor's budget
for next year, the motion passed last night makes major investments in private schools, which
will drain resources from public schools for years to come and we will be pushing that message
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
in interviews today.
Funding: Restore $126 million cut in per pupil aid in 2015-16 and add $70 to per pupil aid in
2016-17. Equalization aid and revenue limits remain at a zero increase.
For MMSD in 2015-16:
This reverses the Governor's proposed $4.1 million revenue cut. Unfortunately, the budget
offers no increase in the revenue limit per pupil and no increase in funding for the statewide
equalization aid pool.
The draft preliminary budget for 2015-16 is already balanced assuming a worst case scenario in
which MMSD lost the $4.1 million of per pupil aid. Any plans to use the restored $4.1 million in
2015-16 needs to consider the impact on both 2015-16 and 2016-17. (See next)
For MMSD in 2016-17:
The only revenue increase for MMSD in 2016-17 appears to be an additional $70 in per pupil
aid. We project total revenue growth of less than 1% and expenditure growth of 3-4% (for
wages, salaries, benefits, etc.) resulting in another budget gap of approximately $12 million for
2016-17. Options to carry-over funds (some or all) from 2015-16 would help to reduce the
budget gap in 2016-17; these options are being developed for board review.
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What would be the budget to restore the cut to the
Shabazz world language teacher allocation?
2015-16 Budget Q&A as of 5.29.15
Unfortunately, as part of the budget reductions across the district, Shabazz needed to reduce
teacher allocations by .3. In order to meet this expectation, world language was reduced by .2
and library media services by .1. Restoration of the .2 world language position would cost about