Board approves budget plan
The School Board on July 27, 2017, approved the revised budget for 2017-2018 that continues to reflect the District's primary focus of Student Success. The budget includes the expansion of the Project Lead the Way program and early childhood education, as well as the purchase of math curriculum resources. The budget includes the use of remaining 2016 Bond Funds and additional District reserves to complete the facility improvements outlined in the Long Range Facility Plan.
2017-2018 Budget Preview (one-page fast facts)
2016-2017 Budget: High performance and community support
Fiscal responsibility has allowed the Raymore-Peculiar School District to achieve at very high levels, while spending near the lowest per pupil among area schools.
Ray-Pec operating expenditures per student were $8,881 in 2015. The statewide average was $10,486. With a tax levy rate that has not increased for more than 13 years, the District continues to make gains in student achievement and graduation rates, and also has an ACT composite score above the state average. The total property tax levy of $5.0397 is expected to remain unchanged this year.
The Ray-Pec Board of Education on June 23 approved a budget for 2016-2017 that supports the second year of implementation of the International Baccalaureate program, introduces the Project Lead the Way program at the middle and high schools in the ear of engineering and computer science, expands the availability of technology devices for students, includes more than $25 million in capital improvement projects, including those supported by the 2016 Bond Issue, and provides salary and benefit enhancements for employees.
Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees praised the budget plan, saying that “By focusing on very specific goals and initiatives, the District has performed well, thanks to the support of our community.”
The budget plan follows a comprehensive, yet user-friendly, format implemented by the District a year ago. The Association of School Business Officials International awarded the District with its Meritorious Budget Award for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. The award is presented to school districts demonstrating excellence in budget preparation and presentation.
The District anticipates total revenue of $66,486,212 and total expenditures of $89,739,464, which includes over $23 million in 2016 Bond Issue expenditures. This comprises all District funds, including the general fund, teachers fund, the capital projects fund, and the debt service fund. A fund is a self-balancing set of accounts that is categorized for a specific purpose.
Operating balances are projected to decline by $921,272, as the District makes targeted investments in key areas while maintaining fund balances at the strategic plan goal of 23 percent, plus or minus 3 percent. The District anticipates ending 2016-2017 with $14 million in operating reserves, which represents approximately three months of operating expenditures.
Student Success remains the top priority of the District. In this area, the budget includes staffing plans to maintain current class sizes and to add resources in certain intervention areas. The budget also funds the purchase of resources to support the English Language Arts curriculum.
Safety improvements for the coming year include the addition of a third School Resource Officer and additional staff training on responses to safety threats. The District also plans the use of a new crisis plan mobile application tool.
The District implemented a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilot project in 2013-2014, which was expanded to more than 150 classrooms the past two years. For 2016-2017, grades three through six and grade nine will be supported with one-to-one devices for students, with BYOD classrooms added at several other grade levels.
The 2016-2017 budget includes more than $25 million for capital improvement projects. The list of projects includes:
- South high school addition and renovation program (2016 Bond Issue)
- Asphalt and concrete improvements at Peculiar Elementary, Ray-Pec High School stadium parking lot, North High School greenhouse, and various locations District-wide.
- Replacement of aging heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment at Timber Creek Elementary and in the network server room.
- Traffic control improvements (lighting and turn lane) at Ray-Pec East Middle School.
- Roof maintenance District-wide.
- Athletic equipment and miscellaneous improvements at Ray-Pec High School.
- Equipment upgrades for the Buildings and Ground Department and in District kitchens.
- Lease payments.
The new school year officially begins July 1. Chief Financial Officer Kendra Hutsell provided an overview of the budget at the Board’s June 23 meeting. Board members were complimentary of the budget and of the preparation work completed by Hutsell and her staff.
You may review Hutsell’s presentation: 2016-2017 budget presentation
Review the Budget: 2016-2017 Budget Plan
Review a fact sheet: Financial Facts