Board of Education

Auburn City Schools will host two public budget hearings on Tuesday, as the school system works toward finalizing the budget for the 2021 fiscal year. 

The Board of Education got a look at the proposed budget for FY2021 during a work session on Tuesday. 

The proposed budget projects total revenue for the FY2021General Fund at $85.9 million, a $1.91 million decrease from FY2020, with the vast majority of expenditures coming from salary and benefits, which take up about 75 percent of the General Fund and Special Revenue Fund, according to a presentation by ACS Director of Finance Liz Springer. Total expenditures are projected at $85.23 million for the General Fund. 

"For FY21, we project to end the year with a $19.28 million fund balance, which would give us 2.71 months operating reserves," said Springer, who added that the State Department of Education requires a one-month reserve, with ACS' internal target set at two months. 

Total revenue for the Special Revenue Fund is projected at $14.81 million, a 16.47 percent increase from FY20, with expenditures projected at $14.26 million.

Gross payroll accounts for $54.14 million of expenditures between the two funds, with matching benefits accounting for $20.5 million.

Springer added that the main factors affecting the budget considerations are enrollment and student-teacher ratios. 

As of Aug. 17, 6,373 students, or 72 percent of the total student population, were enrolled in traditional, on-campus instruction, with another 2,538 students enrolled in the virtual option. The proposed budget will fund 583 teaching units throughout the school system, and help maintain a 15.3:1 student-teacher ratio.

"As we weigh enrollment and staffing needs, we look to salary and benefits first and what does that look like," Springer said. "Overall, due to unknown economic factors, we've been very conservative with our personnel, making sure we have what we need but also not going and adding positions unless absolutely necessary."

The Special Reserve Fund includes about $3 million received from the CARES Act, which was dispersed in four separate allocations, two of which were shared with private schools within Auburn city limits. 

ACS plans to use the CARES Act funding to purchase iPads for secondary and elementary students and pay for remote instruction services, nursing salary and benefits, nursing equipment and personal protective equipment.

The two public budget hearings will be held on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Auburn Junior High School auditorium. 

The budget will be presented to the Board at its meeting on Sept.8. 

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