In the second of a multi-year effort to bring spending in line with revenues, district leaders and the School Board are preparing for an estimated budget adjustment of $3.1 million for the 2016-17 school year.
A number of factors, including this year’s student enrollment and results of last year’s financial audit, will determine the final reduction amount and how proposed reductions will impact schools and staff. Administration is developing a list of budget adjustments as part of the Right Sizing the Budget II process.
In June, the School Board approved $4 million in cuts and funding shifts, and a $2.7 million spend down of its reserves in order to balance the current year budget. Without the reserves, which have been built up over the last five years, the budget reductions would have had a far greater impact on schools, programs, classrooms and staffing, according to Rod Zivkovich, director of finance and support services.
Zivkovich said Bloomington Public Schools is not alone in its budget challenges. A recent survey by the Association of Metro School Districts (AMSD) shows school districts are implementing more than $46 million in budget reductions, including 400 staff layoffs this year. School systems with declining or flat enrollment, like Bloomington, feel the effects of fewer resources even greater, Zivkovich added.