Park Hill 2013-14 budget tops $150 million

The Park Hill Board of Education approved a $155.7 million budget for the 2013-14 school year, just a couple of days earlier than usual. The Board met June 28 instead of its regularly scheduled June 30 meeting due to a scheduling conflict for Superintendent Dr. Scott Springston.

Economic conditions in the last five years have negatively impacted property values and slowed growth. Based upon preliminary values provided by the Platte County Assessor, the District’s assessed valuation has increased to $1.48 billion, up 1.3 percent from last year, primarily due to new commercial construction in the area. This year’s local revenue estimates have been established reflecting this growth in assessed valuation.

During the 2011-12 school year, the almost one percent decrease in assessed valuation was the first decrease since 1994. Low assessed valuation growth significantly impacted the district as nearly three quarters of all revenue is generated locally.

Currently, the Board assumes it will maintain the current operating tax levy of $4.92 per $100 assessed valuation. The Board will hold a public hearing in August prior to setting the final tax rate.

Non-local funding continues this year to be a concern for the District. Since 2009, the state foundation formula has been supported by stabilization dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and the Education Jobs Bill of 2010. The state foundation formula has not been fully funded since 2008. While a slight increase in basic formula revenue is anticipated next year over 2012-13, it is estimated that the reduction from full funding of the state foundation formula will still be in excess of $2 million dollars for 2012-13.

The 2013-14 budget is balanced, with operating revenues projected to be $129.2 million, operating expenditures budgeted at $133 million, and with the projected gap between operating revenue and expenditures to be funded by District fund balances.

The use of the operating and capital fund balances in 2013-14 has been a part of a long-range financial plan that includes supporting the new operating costs associated with funding the Future Learners Program (FLiP) technology program in elementary schools and the construction of a gravity-fed sewer line to replace the septic system at UnionChapelElementary School.