Fatima adopts $8.3 million budget, anticipates deficit spending

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 6/24/20

Fatima R-3 board members at their June 10 meeting adopted a preliminary budget for the 2020-21 school year which anticipates revenues of $8.315 million and expenditures of $8.655 million. That means …

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Fatima adopts $8.3 million budget, anticipates deficit spending

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Fatima R-3 board members at their June 10 meeting adopted a preliminary budget for the 2020-21 school year which anticipates revenues of $8.315 million and expenditures of $8.655 million. That means the school is planning to deficit-spend by $289,955, if the numbers hold true.

“The proposed budget begins as no other in my time as superintendent at Osage County R-3,” said Chuck Woody. “With the COVID-19 outbreak, and the effects that has had on our nation’s economy, we are looking at some difficult financial uncertainty. The revenue that I am projecting reflects cuts we are facing specifically in certain state revenues.”

Woody noted that while the initial outlook is bleak, that might not be the case through the entire school year.

“Should the economy redevelop and meet levels that should have been met through state revenue formula, I would have projected to finish the year at even, or slightly above,” he said. “Financially we are in a stable position to handle this for a year, maybe two. Should things not turn around, then we will be forced to make some very difficult decisions with regard to certain cuts.”

The budget reflects the step given to all staff members, and taking on the insurance increase for this coming fiscal year. “As we go forward this will be an important topic to stay financially stable, yet retain good staff,” Woody told board members.

Unless projected revenues improve, Woody suggested limiting special projects.

Estimated revenues of $8,365,053, Woody noted, would come from four sources: Local taxes ($4,893,553), county taxes ($510,000), state revenues ($2,510,500), and federal revenues ($451,000).

Expenditures were approved as follows: Elementary ($1,316,933), High School ($1,448,125), Summer School ($87,000), Gifted ($62,850), Special Education ($716,450), Title ($141,430), ECSE ($56,105), Vocational ($352,400), Student Activities ($292,515), Extra-duty Stipends ($158,155), Tuition to other districts ($52,000), Guidance ($168,645), Nurse ($63,152), Speech Therapy ($138,640), Professional Development ($20,970), Library ($137,850), Technology ($140,900), Board of Education ($152,840), Executive Administration ($342,000), Building Principal ($470,410), Operation of Plant ($95,980), Custodial ($456,600), Contracted Services ($742,000), District Transportation ($56,105), PH ECSE ($11,045), Food Service ($413,390), PAT ($43,185), Preschool ($306,830), Non Public ($27,555), Lease Purchase Principal ($160,000), and Lease Purchase Interest ($22,948).

Fatima will close out the 19-20 fiscal year in good shape, Woody said, even with the COVID-19 outbreak as there were some areas such as substitute teachers, and extra-curricular trips that did not spend money in the spring since the school was shut down.  

State funding will be approximately 96.5% of the amount Fatima was scheduled to receive.  

“We have been able to get all Chrome Books in to go 1:1 for this upcoming school year,” he added.

In related news, the board approved amending the budget to actual figures as of June 30, with the close of the current fiscal year.

In other business, board members approved the calendar for the 2020-21 school year, with only a few minor changes, chiefly that school has a proposed start date of Aug. 17, pending approval from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). A public hearing was held prior to the June 10 meeting, with no public comment.

Woody said the school year at this time is planned as an in-person experience, but noted that may change depending on the pandemic situation.

* Bus contracts were approved with an increase of $500 per route. Under the terms of the contract, each of Fatima’s 18 routes (plus Nichols Career Center) will cost $38,183 in 2021, and will increase by $500 each in 2022.

* The board hired Nick Massman as a maintenance assistant.

* Bills were approved in the amount of $149,576.97.

* Tuition for the district for the 2020-21 school year was set at $6,700 for students who live in another school district but attend Fatima. The rate has remained the same for several years.

* June 2 election results were accepted by the board, which showed that Keith Huhn (282) and Doug Luebbering (277) led polling, while challenger Andrew Samson was third with 242, and Wayne Baumhoer earned 224 votes. Doug Luebbering was elected board president, while Keith Huhn will serve as vice president, Tim Luebbering was appointed secretary and Patty Schnieders is the appointed treasurer.

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