Picayune School District previews projected budget for 2020-2021
On Tuesday afternoon, the Picayune School Board of Trustees held a budget hearing prior to their regularly scheduled meeting to give the public an overview of the district’s projected budget for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. District Finance Director Lisa Persick gave a presentation that outlined the proposed revenue, expenditures, and projected fund balance for the upcoming year.
Board member David Mooneyhan and Superintendent Dean Shaw
Persick stated that the total assessed valuation for property came in at $182,289,574, which was an increase of approximately $6.27 million over last year’s value of $176,021,568, which will provide the district revenue of $10,365,498. The school district’s allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will be $1,118,735 for teachers assistants salaries and benefits according to Persick, which is included in her federal funding estimate of $10,017,613.
Persick (pictured) stated that she normally would receive the amount of funding from the state for Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) in April, but has not yet received that number due to the delay in the state legislature finalizing numbers, which in turn, is why the Mississippi Dept of Education (MDE) has not provided the allocation amount to the districts. Persick said she has prepared the budget anticipating a 6 percent reduction from MAEP funding which would equate to a reduction of approximately $1,000,000 and put revenue at $16,279,492. The district projects to receive revenue of $229,100 from 16th section land. The total revenue for the district is estimated to be $36,894,705 according to Persick.
The district’s estimate expenditures will be $37,205,723. Persick said while it appears the district is spending more than the revenue coming in, there are fund balances in accounts for unemployment, forestry escrow (when timber is cut, the money goes into the budget for revenue), and 16th section that will make up for the difference.
Projected district expenditures include $20,252,849 for instruction, $14,273,989 for support services, $2,656,921 for non-instructional, $15,800 for 16th section property, and debt service of $6,162. Persick noted that the district does not have any major construction expenditures planned in the budget and the district does not plan to purchase any new buses.
Persick projects the fund balance as of June 30, 2020 to be $2,264,419 which is a 8.8 percentage. Persick stated that if the district takes in the revenue projected and spends the amounts projected, the fund balance for June 30, 2021 would be estimated at $1,384,753, which is a 5.6 percentage, which is still above the state’s suggested 5 percent fund balance guideline.
The district, which is currently capped at 55 mills, does not plan to ask for an ad valorem tax increase at this time according to Persick. Board President Frank Ford and Superintendent Dean Shaw verbally supported Persick’s statement that the district does not plan to ask for a tax increase.